Shimla: With fruit production yields having stagnated in the state, Himachal hopes to benefit from technology transfer from New Zealand that a business delegation led by primary industry minister David Carter proposed here today.
Chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, after meeting the delegation said, “New Zealand has offered to collaborate in horticulture and agriculture sectors by providing expertise and technology transfers.
With the per hectare yield of apples in Himachal varying between 4 to 9 metric tons (MT), New Zealand has been achieving over 25 MT yields.
“For a start we would import quality and early variety root stock plants that would be multiplied for distribution to the farmers, said Dhumal.
The chief minister also show interest in tech transfer for setting up irrigation facilities, developing a cool chain for transporting highly perishable fruits and vegetables and setting up fruit based processing units.
While apprising the chief minister about business opportunities with New Zealand, minister of primary industries Davit Carter said that potential for increasing apple productivity by replacing old root stocks and technology transfer in other agriculture sector were areas where collaborations could take place.
Horticulture, mainly apples remains the major cash crop of Himachal that contributes significantly towards the state domestic product.
The New Zealand delegation consisted of Mrs Heather Carter, wife of Mr David Carter, Mrs Shari Mannan, Mr Cris Carson, Director International Policy, Mrs Jan Henderson, High Commissioner of New Zealand, Mr Kanwaljeet Singh Bakshi, MP from New Zealand, Mr Richard White, Trade Commissioner, Mr Gareth Pidgeon and Ms. Mridu Vats, Policy Advisor.
The business delegation comprised of Mr James McVitty, Fonterra, Mr Jogn Monaghan, Fontera, Mr Ross Verry, ANZ Bank, Mr Sunil Kaushal, India-NZ Business Council/ANZ Bank, Mr Sameer Handa and Mr Swantantra Gagneja, Patton Refrigeration, Mr Jon Calder and Mr Tony Begbie, NZ Fieldays, Mr Tim Ritche, NZ Meat Industry Association, Mr Nadine Tunley and Mr Alan Pollard, Pipfruit New Zealand, Mr Grand Sinclair, Apple NZ Limited and Mr Mike Simpson, Waimea Nurseries.