Staff Reporter

SALEM: The Horticulture Department will execute the National Horticulture Movement scheme at an estimated cost of Rs. 3.68 crores to accelerate the growth of horticulture activities in the district this year.

The principal objectives included invention of new technologies for the development of horticulture, dissemination of new farming technologies among farmers, extension activities, post-harvest and preservation, marketing and generation of employment opportunities for the unemployed youth in horticulture sector, a release from Collector A. Sukumaran said.

The district had received Rs. 1.48 crores to take up the activities planned under the first phase. Plans such as cultivation of horticulture seedlings, creation of facilities for the production of vegetable seeds, development of new gardens, renovation of existing gardens, bringing the uncultivated lands under farming, creation of water resources, greenhouse farming, vermin culture and setting up organic farms will be executed this year. Preparations were underway to launch the movement in the district.

Committee set up

A district execution committee with the District Collector as its Chairman has been established. The Project Officer, Joint Director of Agriculture, Executive Engineer of Agriculture Engineering Department, Secretary of the Agriculture Produce Marketing Committee, Professor and Head of Yercaud Horticulture Research Station, Assistant Director of Kadhi and Village industries Department, representatives from the horticulture farmers association, non-governmental organisations and self-help groups are the members. The Assistant Director of Horticulture had also been appointed as the member secretary.

Selection of beneficiaries for assistance under the scheme was on. Interested farmers could contact the Horticulture Extension Officers for further details, the release said.