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HP Shiva project transforms Bagehra village in Himachal Pradesh

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Hamirpur (HP), Feb 9 (PTI) Thousands of guava saplings have been planted in orchards developed on the barren land of several farmers in the once barren Bagehra village in Hamirpur district of Himachal Pradesh under a state government project.

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Under the Himachal Pradesh Subtropical Horticulture, Irrigation, and Value Addition (HPSHIVA) Project, a target has been set to plant fruit trees on 834 hectares of land in 65 clusters in Hamirpur district, said Deputy Director of Horticulture Department, Rajeshwar Parmar.

He further noted that with passage of time, the farmers of other areas of the district will also adopt horticulture activities in a big way.

Villagers are being motivated to take advantage of the SHIVA project, Parmar said, adding that the entire expense is being borne by the Horticulture department and irrigation arrangements were made with the help of Jal Shakti Department, Parmar added.

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Located on the left bank of River Beas in Bir-Bagehra gram panchayat, the Bagehra village has become a mini garden with fruits sown in an area of 30 canals and about 1,667 guava saplings have been planted in orchards developed on the barren land of several farmers.

These plants have started bearing fruits. "It seems like the whole village was in a state of unity and a new spring has arrived for them," said Santosh Sharma who is growing guava on her barren land.

Earlier, local people had to go outside to earn their livelihood. But now, the situation has changed, said another farmer Ravinder Nath.

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He said that due to inclement weather, problem of stray animals and wild animals, they had started abandoning the cultivation of traditional crops. Their land was becoming barren. But, in such adverse circumstances, the HP Shiva project changed the scenario.

Himachal Pradesh, which created its identity as an apple state, also has good possibilities for the cultivation of other fruits. The climate of medium and low altitude areas of the state is quite suitable for pomegranate, guava, orange, kinnow, mosambi and other citrus fruit, said horticulture experts.

The HP Shiva project aims to increase the income of at least 15,000 farm households in seven out of 12 districts of the state namely Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Kangra, Mandi, Solan, Sirmour and Una. PTI CORR BPL DRR

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