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  • 10 May, 2021

  • 12 Min Read

Horticulture sector: Critical Analysis

Horticulture sector: Critical Analysis

The mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH)

  • L.H. Bailey is considered the Father of American Horticulture and M.H. Marigowda is considered the Father of Indian Horticulture.
  • It is a part of Green Revolution – Krishonnati Yojana which is Umbrella Scheme in agriculture sector since 2016-17 by clubbing 11 schemes.
  • Centrally Sponsored Scheme. 85:15 in all States except Northeast and Himalayan States where it is 100% by States.
  • For holistic growth of the Horticulture sector; enhance Horticulture production, improve nutritional security and income support.
  • MIDH adopts an end-to-end holistic approach i.e. Pre-production, Production, Post-harvest management and Processing and marketing. Promote R&D in the above fields (especially cold chain infrastructure)
  • Promote FPOs and tie up with market aggregators and financial institutions; skill development and rural employment opportunities especially in cold chain sector; Improve productivity by way of quality germplasm and water use efficiency through Micro Irrigation.
  • MIDH will work closely with NMSA toward the development of Micro-Irrigation for all horticulture crops.

National Bamboo Mission is a subscheme of MIDH

  • India has the highest area (14 million ha) under bamboo and is the 2nd richest country in diversity, after China, with 136 species (125 indigenous). Still, India is a net importer of bamboo.
  • Till recently, it has remained confined to the forests (12.8% of forest cover); 2/3rd is located in the North-Eastern States.
  • The restructured National Bamboo Mission (NBM) was launched in 2018-19 for holistic development of the bamboo sector through a cluster-based approach in a hub (industry) and spoke model to harness the opportunities by providing backwards and forward linkages among the stakeholders – linking farmers to markets.
  • Direct subsidy of 50% is given to farmers at Rs 1.00 lakh per ha, 100% to Government agencies and also to entrepreneurs for setting up various product development units, etc.
  • The Mission is presently being executed by 21 States, including all the 9 States of NER through the respective State Bamboo Missions.
  • NBM is also advising States to make available quality planting material to the farmers out to carry out plantations of commercially required species, set up common facility centres and other post-harvest units in complete sync with the requirement of existing and sunrise industries for a win-win situation for farmers and Indian bamboo industry.
  • Ministry: Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare
  • Funding: Centrally Sponsored with 60:40 for all States; 90:10 for NE and Hilly States and 100% for us.
  • Components:
    1. Adopting area-based, regionally differentiated strategy.
    2. To increase the area under bamboo cultivation. It proposes to bring about 1 lakh hectares under plantation.
    3. For marketing of bamboo and bamboo products especially of handicraft items.
    4. Setting up of new nurseries and strengthening of existing ones.
    5. Pest management and disease management will be a major part.
    6. The scheme would help in cutting down on the import of bamboo products.
  • It will focus on limited States where it has social, commercial and economical advantage.

National Horticulture Mission (NHM) is a subscheme

  • Horticultural products include fruits, vegetables, flowers, coco, cashew nut, plantation crops, spices, and medicinal aromatic plants. It is an employment-intensive sector and an export-oriented sector.
  • Ministry: Department of Agriculture and Co-operation, MoAFW.
  • Funding: Centrally Sponsored with 60:40 for all States in NHM and for HMNEH it is 90:10.
  • Objectives and Components: Same as MIDH.

Critical Analysis of MIDH Scheme

  • To further promote and for holistic growth of the horticulture sector in the country, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has provided an enhanced allocation of Rs. 2250 Crore for the year 2021-22 for ‘Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), a centrally sponsored scheme.
  • The Ministry is implementing MIDH with effect from 2014-15, for realizing the potential of the horticulture sector covering fruits, vegetables, root and tuber crops, mushrooms, spices, flowers, aromatic plants, coconut, cashew and cocoa.
  • Government intervention in the horticulture sector has led to the situation wherein horticulture production has surpassed the agriculture production in the country.
  • During the year 2019-20, the country recorded its highest ever horticulture production of 320.77 million tonnes from an area of 25.66 million hectares. As per the 1st Advance Estimates for 2020-21 the total horticulture production in the country is 326.58 lakh MT from an area of 27.17 lakh ha.
  • MIDH has played a significant role in increasing the area under horticulture crops. Area and production during the years 2014 – 15 to 2019 – 20 has increased by 9% and 14% respectively.
  • Moreover, the mission has boosted best practices to be followed in farms which have significantly improved the quality of produce and productivity of farmland.
  • The initiative of MIDH has not only resulted in India’s self-sufficiency in the horticulture sector but also contributed towards achieving sustainable development goals of zero hunger, good health and wellbeing, no poverty, gender equality etc.
  • However, the sector is still facing a lot of challenges in terms of high post-harvest loss and gaps in post-harvest management and supply chain infrastructure.
  • There is tremendous scope for enhancing the productivity of Indian horticulture which is imperative to cater to the country’s estimated demand of 650 Million MT of fruits and vegetables by the year 2050. Some of the new initiatives like focus on planting material production, cluster development programme, credit push through Agri Infra Fund, formation and promotion of FPOs are the right steps in this direction.

National Horticulture Board (NHB)

  • National Horticulture Board (NHB) is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has cleared a record 1278 subsidy applications for integrated development of hi-tech commercial horticulture in the country including promotion of post-harvest and cold chain infrastructure during the last one year which were pending since long.
  • NHB has also taken a lot of steps for ease of doing business by simplification of scheme guideline, documentation and processing process of new applications.
  • NHB has also facilitated the convergence of its back-ended capital investment subsidy schemes with the Agri Infrastructure Fund Scheme of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to encourage farmers and entrepreneurs to take advantage of subvention of 3% interest on the loan with credit guarantee coverage for a loan up to Rs 2.00 crores for setting up post-harvest and cold chain infrastructure in the horticulture sector.
  • With the financial support of NHB, an additional area of 2210 acres under hi-tech commercial horticulture, both in open and protected cultivation has been brought under horticulture. Also additional cold storage capacity of 1.15 lakh MT has been created under the Cold Storage Scheme of NHB.

Source: PIB

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