Horticulture Package for J&K Approved

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the Rs 500-crore special horticulture package to Jammu and Kashmir to help apple growers rejuvenate old orchards and start new ones.

Under the package, apple growers will be given financial help in 90:10 for importing planting material at the maximum rate of Rs 460 per plant while funds in the ratio of 50:50 for importing four wire trellis system at the rate of Rs 9.8 lakh per hectare for new apple orchards.

The funding norms have been relaxed to encourage apple growers to import special varieties of plants for better survival, early flowering and enhanced fruiting apple planting materials and four wire trellises system which may increase the productivity 3-4 times.

The revised funds sharing norms under the package will be valid till 2018-19 and will generate employment for up to 20,000 people.

This is part of the Rs 80,000-crore package announced for the state in November last year by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to develop infrastructure after the 2014 floods.

CCEA has approved the Rs 500-crore PM’s special horticulture package to promote new and old apple orchards.

The Centre-state fund sharing norms have been relaxed to 90:10 ratio under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) to implement the PM’s special horticulture package in the state.

Out of Rs 500-crore package, the government of India’s share would be Rs 450 crore and the rest will be borne by the state government.

The package will help in setting up of 329 hectares of new apple orchards and restoration of 3,900 hectares of damaged ones over three years.

It will benefit about 21,000 orchardists located in more than 491 villages where horticulture areas of more than 5,200 hectares were severely damaged by floods/landslides in September 2014.

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