Giving a boost to cultivation of herbs, National Bank of Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has decided to adopt villages in Himachal Pradesh and develop them as ‘Herbal Villages.’

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said NABARD had already adopted 20 villages in Himachal Pradesh and 40 more were likely to be adopted by the bank under the Village Development Plan.

He said that a massive herbal plantation campaign had been launched in the State and farmers were being provided free herbal plants for cultivation in their private land.

Lauding NABARD for extending financial aid for implementation of the Rs 353 crore Pandit Deen Dayal Kisan Baagwan Samridhi Yojana and Rs 300 crore Doodh Ganga Yojana aimed, Mr. Dhumal said that both the programmes had yielded desired results as large numbers of farmers were coming forward to avail benefits under the schemes.

He said so far over 5000 farmers had availed loan and the ‘Doodh Ganga’ schemes will give a boost to animal husbandry and dairy farming activities.

S. T. Raghuraman, Chief General Manager, NABARD suggested opening of retail outlets all over the State for the poly house produce and dairy products under both the schemes so that a ready market was made available to the farmers.