Shimla: Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is to hold Agrifest and Applefest, later in the year, which would have the support of the state government.
Committing state support for the two festivals, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal let a CII delegation that was led by chairman RM Khanna, deputy chairman Vijay Thandani and others know such festivals did provide an opportunity for the state to exhibit its farm products for industry to take notice off.
The chief minister said that the state government was giving a thrust to agriculture and three major schemes, which were Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayaya Kisan-Baagwan Samridhi Yojna, Doodh Ganga Yojna and Organic Fertilizer involve an investment target of Rs 1093 crores.
Agriculture and horticulture were bound to emerge the best economic activity sectors, which would generate a lot of self-employment avenues for the rural youth, said Dhumal.
To rejuvenate old apple orchards, the state had marked out Rs 85 crore for replacing old root stocks plants and replacing them with disease resistant and high yielding plant material so as to improve productivity, said Dhumal.
Appreciating the CII initiative, the chief minister said that the state was floriculture was catching up with progressive farmers, who had even bagged a Rs 30 crore order for supplying flowers during the forthcoming commonwealth games.
On their part the CII delegation informed the chief minister about plans of hosting the Argifest and Applefest exhibitions that would help to market Brand Himachal.
Others who were part of the CII delegation included Atul Khosla, Alok Sharma, Charu Mathur, Vinod Dhiman and Neeta Chauhan.