The Indian government is planning to introduce exotic varieties of apples, almonds, walnuts, grapes and date palm by importing seeds and saplings to help local growers and reduce imports.
A horticulture department official said that states have been asked to furnish demand of planting materials that farmers want to grow. "A State-owned National Seeds Corporation has been appointed as the nodal agency, which will import seeds, saplings and rootlets for further propagation in India. We have received demand from Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh. Uttarakhand and Jammu & Kashmir. Private companies have been importing at individual level but government will import planting material for the first time.”
The programme, initially for three years, will be fully funded by central government under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture.