Centre to prepare action plan for Himalayan states: India

Sep 5th, 2011 | By | Category: Advocacy, Agriculture, Environment, India, News, Upcoming Events

Business Standard: As the demand for a separate policy for the Himalayan states is gaining momentum, the Centre is preparing an action plan to boost the growth of Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh which are criss-crossed by the Himalay n mountains that separate the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan plateau.

The government has planned a series of workshops with the aim to prepare both short- and long-term plans for the overall growth in the three states that have agriculture and horticulture as the main stay of their economy, union minister of state for agriculture and food processing Harish Rawat said on Thursday.

All three states can prepare their own status papers for the development of the horticulture, food processing, animal husbandry and agriculture sectors which he said can be used for the final discussions. “These status papers can be helpful for taking concrete steps,” he said.

The first of this workshop would be organised in Dehra Dun from Sept 24-25 where chief ministers and ministers of these sectors would participate. Besides, top government functionaries including union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar will also attend the workshop.

In addition to this, directors of all the top agriculture institutions and director generals would also participate. “The whole idea is to prepare an action plan which can boost the overall farm sector in these Himalayan states,” said Rawat. He said efforts would also be made to take the final action plan on the agenda of the 12th five year plan where there is optimism that India can grow at nine percent.

Welcoming the move, Dr Anil Joshi, a social activist who is spear heading a campaign for the separate Himalayan policy, said the main concern of the new policy will be to fulfill the requirements of the hills where land holdings, are small, soil erosion is rampant,bio-diversity is rich and climate change is a seen as big factor that may cast a shadow over the long-term growth.

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