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Agri-Biz & Commodities - Floriculture


ICAR awaits Govt aid to open more farm centres

Deeptha Rajkumar

Wellington (Nilgiris) , Aug. 24

THE Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) is in the process of establishing Krishi Vikas Kendras in all the 575 districts in the country, according to the Assistant Director General (Agri-Ext), ICAR, Dr B.S. Hansra.

Delivering the key note address at the inaugural of a two day seminar on `Opportunities for floriculture business in the Nilgiris', Dr Hansra said so far ICAR has established 344 KVKs in the country and the remaining should be covered by the end of the Tenth Plan.

``We have sought Rs 500 crore from the Government for establishing the new kendras. Once it comes through, we should commence sanctioning the kendras from January 2004,'' he said.

The seminar was organised by the UPASI-KVK, in collaboration with the National Horticulture Board (NHB), Apeda, HADP and other banks.

Speaking on the occasion, the State Director of Horticulture and Plantation crops, Mr K. Dhanavel, said under the proposed agri-export zone concept for floriculture in the Nilgiris, 20 hectares of land over the next five years would be bought under cultivation of cut flowers.

He said as part of the proposal they were also looking to set up model floriculture units in Udhagamandalam and Coonoor at the cost of Rs 140 lakhs. Post Harvest centres were also being planned at Coimbatore, Udhagamandalam and Coonoor.

The agri-export zone is a Rs 15.89 crore project of which the State Government's share is Rs 2 crore while Central Government agencies would contribute Rs 5.23 crore, private sector Rs 8.66 crore.

During the year, Mr Dhanavel said the Government had set aside Rs 29.49 crore for horticulture development.

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