The Hush Post: To make further improvement in the Himachal apple industry, to make it competitive in the global market and increase the apple productivity, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur met New Zealand High Commissioner Joanna Kempkers and her team of experts from New Zealand on Friday.
Under the Rs1,134 crore World Bank funded horticulture-modernisation project, New Zealand will provide “world’s best apple management practices” and latest technology to the state orchardists, particularly to small and marginal farmers of Mandi and Sirmaur districts. “High-tech horticulture will be a game changer and Himachal seeks expertise to increase low productivity to atleast 50 per cent of the productivity of New Zealand’s present level,” the chief minister said.
A contract agreement has already been signed between a team of experts from New Zealand and Himachal following guidelines envisaged by the World Bank, Principal Secretary, Horticulture JC Sharma, told a regional daily. He said foreign expertise would play a pivotal role in guiding, monitoring and training scientific and new innovative technologies.
New Zealand provides technical know-how to as many as 60 to 70 countries. The state government has engaged with New Zealand for better apple management, while Netherlands would guide Himachal in the post-harvest sector under the project. World’s best production and post-harvest systems and practices have earned the apple industry in New Zealand an international reputation for producing fruit of the highest quality.