National Horticulture Mission
National Horticulture Mission
National Horticulture Mission (NHM) is the sub-scheme of Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture, which is being implemented by the National Horticulture Board (NHB). The mission was mainly developed to promote the growth of the horticulture sector covering vegetables, fruits, root & tuber crops, spices, mushroom, flowers, aromatic plants, cashew and cocoa. Under this mission, the Government of India (GOI) will provide assistance at the rate of 85% for the developmental programmes and the remaining 15% will be contributed by the State Government. In this article, we look at the National Horticulture Mission in detail.
The main objectives of the National Horticulture Mission are as follows:
- To increase the growth of the horticulture sector by conducting research, technology promotion, post-harvest management, processing and marketing etc.
- To improve horticulture production, enhance nutritional security and double the income of farmers.
- To establish convergence among multiple on-going and planned programmes for the development of horticulture.
- To promote and develop technologies through a seamless blend of traditional and modern scientific knowledge.
- To create employment opportunities, especially for unemployed skilled or unskilled youth.
The mission would adopt the following strategies to achieve the above objectives:
- Promoting Research and Development (R&D) technologies for production, post-harvest management and processing.
- Ensuring end to end support on production, post-harvest management, marketing and processing to assure appropriate returns to producers.
- Enhancing productivity through diversification from traditional crops to plantations.
- Extending the appropriate technology to the farmers for high-tech horticulture farming and cultivation.
- Assisting in setting up of post-harvest facilities such as ripening chamber, packhouse, cold storages, Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storages etc., processing units for marketing infrastructure and value addition.
- Adopting a coordinated approach in promoting partnership, processing and marketing agencies in public as well as private sectors, at the National, State and District level.
- Promoting capacity building and Human Resource Development at all levels.
Geographic Information System, Remote sensing and Information Communication Technology will play an important role in mission interventions. This system is used for monitoring and planning the infrastructure facilities for post-harvest management, markets and production forecasts.
Research and Development
The programmes envisaged under horticultural research will concentrate on technology generation keeping in view of agro-climatic and socio-economic conditions. The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and Indian Council of Agricultural Research in collaboration with State Agricultural Universities (SAUs) and other research organizations/institutes in public and private sectors identifying this area will be partners in research programmes. The Research Advisory Committee will research the following areas:
- Planting material
- Production technology
- Post-harvest technology
- Processing and value addition.
Production and Productivity Improvement
The mission will focus on production and productivity through the adoption of improved technologies for ensuring the quality of all horticultural crops. Efforts will be made to generate the necessary infrastructure in the form of nurseries and improving the existing tissue culture units. To meet market demand, this will be supplemented with plantation development programmes through the addition of new areas under improved varieties.
Production and Distribution of Planting Material
Under production and distribution of planting material nurseries for producing planting material will be established through state or central assistance. The assistance would be provided for setting up of new nurseries under the Public as well as Private sector. The following are the infrastructure required for setting up of model nurseries:
- To protect plant nurseries from adverse weather conditions mother stock block under poly cover with a maximum area of 500 sq.metre is to be maintained.
- Raising rootstock seedlings under net house conditions is necessary.
- Propagation house having insect-proof netting in the sides and fogging and sprinkler irrigation systems have to be developed.
- Insect-proof net house having a maximum of 2000 sq.metre with 35% light screening properties and sprinkler irrigation systems is to be maintained.
- Pumphouse is required to provide sufficient irrigation with a peak load of 5mm per day and water storage tank to meet at least two days requirement.
- Soil sterilization -steam sterilization system with boilers is required.
Tissue Culture Units
The assistance for the rehabilitation or upgradation of existing tissue culture units subject to the aggregate ceiling of Rs.8 lakhs for the units in public sector and 50% of the cost with the ceiling of Rs.4 lakhs for the units in Private sector will be provided.
Vegetable Seed Production
This programme will ensure the production of seedlings in vegetables is free from a disease which is applied to the hybrid cultivars of vegetables. The financial assistance for vegetable seed production will be of Rs.50,000 per hectare for the Public sector, and the assistance at the rate of 50% subject to a limit of Rs.25,000 to the Private Sector limited to 5 hectares per beneficiary as credit-linked back-ended the subsidy. The State Horticulture Mission will ensure the availability of the good quality seeds and planting material to the farmers at a nominal price.
To facilitate storage and packaging of seeds, proper handling, assistance would be provided for creating infrastructures like storage bins, drying platforms, packaging unit and 20 related types of equipment. To the extent of 100% assistance will be provided to the public sector, and the assistance to the private sector will be credit-linked subsidy limited to 25% of the cost.
Establishment of New Gardens
Under this component, the farmer will be eligible for receiving assistance per crop. The assistance for cultivation will be given over three years. Assistance for the second year will be at the rate of 75% on the survival of the new gardens, and for the last year, the grant will be of 90% survival of the plants.
Creation of Water Sources
Under the Mission, the grant will be provided for creating water sources through the construction of community tanks, farm reservoirs/ponds with plastic lining. The assistance will be of Rs.10.00 lakh per unit for an area of 10 hectares to be taken up on a community basis.
Promotion of Integrated Pest Management/Integrated Nutrient Management
Assistance for INM/IPM will be at the rate of 50% of cost subject to a maximum limit of Rs.1000 per hectare. The assistance will also be available for developing facilities like disease forecasting units, biocontrol labs, plant health clinics and leaf/tissue analysis labs.
In view of the increasing demand for the organically produced food items around the world, the awareness has been created through training and distribution of information under this mission. For adopting organic farming, additional assistance will be provided at the rate of Rs.10,000 per hectare. For cultivation of vegetables, the maximum assistance of up to Rs.5 lakhs for a group of farmers holding an area of 50 hectares will be given.
Procedure for Approval and Implementation
- The respective State Government is required to prepare a State Horticulture Mission Document (SHMD) indicating a plan of action.
- The SHMD will start preparing the Annual Action Plans (AAP). The AAP will be based on the existing potential for horticulture development, available infrastructure for monitoring and implementation of the project.
- The Ministry of Agriculture would intimate the tentative outlay for the year which in turn will indicate district-wise/sector-wise allocation.
- The agencies at the District level will provide the Annual Action Plan (AAP) and submit it to the State Horticulture Mission.
- The State Government could engage services for preparing the SHMD and AAP. The State Horticulture Mission will then prepare a proposal for the state, and verified by the State Executive Committee (SEC) and furnish copies of the same to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) by the National Executive Committee.
- The SHM can spend up to 5% of the annual allocation for formulating the SHM and Annual Plans. The issues regarding horticultural development covering production, post-harvest management and marketing can be addressed in the Annual Action Plan. The submission of Annual Action Plan to the Ministry of Agriculture should be as per the prescribed norm.
- The SHM will upload the AAP, as reported to the National level EC indicating approval by SLEC. After approval by National level EC attempts to display the status regarding approvals of the AAP.