Shimla: A tripartite agreement was signed on Thursday between the governments of Japan, Himachal Pradesh and the union government at Delhi for implementation of an Rs 321 crore HP Crop Diversification Promotion Project, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal disclosed.
The project proposes to promote crop diversification through development necessary infrastructure such as irrigation facilities, farm access roads along with imparting technical training to farmers in organic farming, vegetable cultivation, food crops cultivation and post harvest technology.
The state was pursuing for clearance of this project for the last two years, said Dhumal.
Ram Subhag Singh, secretary agriculture said that a Project Management Unit, independent of the agriculture department, would run the project with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The project would be implemented through Peopleâ€™s Participation Model which includes community mobilization and organization of Water User Associations (WUA).
The project would enhance livelihood opportunities through promotion of high value crops, agro based entrepreneurs, ensuring sound demand driven marketing system and capacity building of farming communities to take over operation and maintenance.
Singh said that crop diversification model will be expanded to 210 sub-projects in phased manner. The total area to be irrigated would be 3,712 hectares.
Farmers Interest Groups would be formed in each sub-project for collective activities such as hand holding on training of vegetable cultivation, collection and sale of products and operation and maintenance of irrigation facilities.