The government has come to rescue of the farmers and decided to provide assistance to those who were interested to construct polyhouses again despite the fact that they had already availed this assistance under the scheme, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said on Thursday.

All those who are interested to reconstruct polyhouses upto 4000 square meters, he said, would be imparted training besides providing 85 percent subsidy under the Mission for Integrated development of Horticulture (MIDH).     

Earlier, the subsidy was 50 percent which would be raised to 85 percent, Chief Minister said.

Government has also decided to give 50 per cent subsidy on planting material to all the affected farmers on demand, and priority will be given to those farmers in all such schemes and activities of the horticulture department including MIDH, he added.

Singh said Department of Horticulture would frame detailed guidelines within 15 days for verification of the affected farmers and chalk out the modalities for disbursement of benefits, to save them from insolvency.

It is to be remembered that under Horticulture Mission 2003-04, there was a provision for providing 50 percent assistance for construction of polyhouses.

Many farmers and horticulturists got motivated and adopted the technique. They constructed polyhouses and started production of high value crops and floriculture activities on large scale and started growing vegetables.

Under the scheme they were getting 50 percent subsidy for constructing polyhouses only, and they arranged huge loans from the banks for procuring the planting material which nearly cost them around from Rs 800 to Rs 1000 per square meter.

Since the technique was new to many horticulturists and farmers, they raised huge loans from the banks but did not get the desired yields, and suffered huge financial losses and failed to repay loans.

Horticulture Minister Vidya Stokes said "directions had been issued to Horticultural department to speed up the matter and take up the necessary follow up action."

The government was also exploring possibilities of holding meetings with the bankers for one time settlement of their loans by the farmers and horticulturists.

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