The Centre has released Rs. 80.56 crore as the first instalment under the Agriculture Technology Mission for development of horticulture in the northeast and hilly States.

This is a centrally sponsored scheme of the Ministry of Agriculture.

According to Ministry sources, Rs. 57.46 crore have been released for Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and Sikkim, and Rs. 23.10 crore for Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

A sum of Rs. 349 crore was earmarked during the current fiscal. Of this, Rs. 280 crore is for northeastern States and Rs. 69 crore for the three Himalayan States.

Horticulture

In the last eight years, with a special focus and with funds released to the tune of Rs. 1538.60 crore, an additional area of about 4.9 lakh hectares has been brought under various horticulture crops in the 10 States.

Wholesale markets, rural primary markets, apni mandis, grading laboratories, ropeways and processing units were established under the scheme.

Infrastructure has also been created significantly — 935 model nurseries, 10,032 community tanks, 11,106 tubewells and 2,49,6025 square metres of greenhouses. Training has also been imparted to 1, 64,960 farmers and trainers and 67,329 women.

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