- GS 3: Major crops-cropping patterns in various parts of the country
- Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) has launched Horticulture Cluster Development Programme (HCDP) for the promotion of export of horticultural produces.
- It will be implemented in 53 clusters.
- On a pilot basis, it will be first implemented in 12 clusters in 11 states.
- The objective is to identify the horticulture clusters and make them globally competitive.
- It is expected to benefit 10 lakh farmers and attract investment of 10,000 crore when implemented in 53 clusters.
- It will be implemented by the National Horticulture Board of the MoA&FW through Cluster Development Agencies that are appointed on the recommendations of the respective state/UT government.
What is horticulture?
- It is a branch of agriculture, which deals with the science of fruits, vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants.
Features of horticulture sector in India
- The contribution of horticulture in the agricultural GVA is around 30% in FY21.
- This sector is contributing significantly in the economic growth of many states.
- It provides employment to the three sectors—primary, secondary, and tertiary—of agriculture.
- Lately, it has emerged as a rapidly growing sector and became more productive and hence more beneficial for the farmers, than the food grains.
- It is more resilient to varying weather conditions.
- Due to change in taste and more preference to fruits and vegetables, owing to the changing food habits, has shifted the demand-supply dynamics in favour of horticulture.
Issues of horticulture sector
- No guaranteed price assurance with this sector, unlike food grains (MSP).
- Infrastructure: Lack of better cold storage facilities and transportation issues reduces the shelf life of the horticultural produces.
- These crops witness a frequent price fluctuation, which makes it difficult for the small farmers to rely on them.
- Limited marketing exposure and lack of proper implementation of government programmes make horticulture a difficult option for the farmers.
- Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) was launched for the holistic development of horticulture sector.
- Coordinated programme on Horticulture Assessment and MANagement using geoinformatics (CHAMAN)was launched to estimate area and production by using remote sensing technologies.
- The amendment to Essential Commidities Act, 1955 will help building storage facilities for these produces.
- PM Formation of Micro Enterprises was launched to provide credit linked subsidy to those who want to establish micro-food processing enterprises.
- Mega food parks scheme was launched to create modern infrastructure policies along the value chain with strong forward and backward linkages.
- One District One Product programme to promote the production of local but famous crops, which has high market demand and export potential.
- We need to focus on cooperatives, just like we did for the milk production and the way we are doing in food grains and fisheries.
- A judicious mix of farmers experience and technology intervention, under the supervision of government, will help this sector immensely and thus it will help in doubling farmers income.