Shimla, Feb 12 (IANS) Himachal Pradesh has imported 7,59,115 high-yield apple planting material (root stock) under the World Bank-funded Rs 1,138 crore ($171.5 million) Horticulture Development Project, the state Assembly was informed on Tuesday.
The project is being funded through a 7-year investment project financing, said Horticulture Minister Mahinder Singh in a written reply.
Under an agreement, signed on June 21, 2016 by the central government, the Himachal government and the World Bank, the project will be implemented till 2022-23.
The minister, in a reply to Rakesh Singha (CPM), said expenditure on the project till December 2018 was Rs 5,635.60 lakh.
On controlled atmosphere stores under the project, the minister said none of the proposed stores will be upgraded before the apple season this year.
Capacity of controlled atmosphere stores at Jarol-Tikker, Gumma, Oddi and Rohru, all in the Shimla district, would be increased to 2,000 tonnes each to help farmers realise better returns.
These apple roots are being sourced from the US and Italy. The aim is to help farmers get better returns by supplying improved quality root stocks.
Apple accounts for 93 per cent of the total fruit production in the state.
Besides apples, fruits like cherries, pears, peaches, apricots, kiwis, strawberries, olives, almonds and plums are the major commercial crops of the state.