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- The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare has launched the Horticulture Cluster Development Programme (CDP) in order to promote the export of horticultural produce.
- Horticulture is the branch of plant agriculture dealing with garden crops, generally fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants.
- It is central sector programme that aims at growing and developing identified horticulture clusters to make them globally competitive.
- Horticulture cluster is a regional/geographical concentration of targeted horticulture crops.
- It will be implemented by the National Horticulture Board (NHB) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
- In a pilot phase, the programme will be implemented in 12 horticulture clusters out of the total 53 clusters selected for the programme.
- These clusters will be implemented through Cluster Development Agencies (CDAs) which are appointed on the recommendations of the respective State/UT Government.
- To address all major issues related to the Indian horticulture sector including pre-production, production, post-harvest management, logistics, marketing and branding.
- To leverage geographical specialisation and promote integrated and market-led development of horticulture clusters.
- To converge with other initiatives of the Government such as the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.
- Expected Benefit:
- It will help in ‘Doubling farmers’ income.
- The programme will benefit about 10 lakh farmers and is expected to attract an investment of Rs. 10,000 crore when implemented in all the 53 clusters.
- It will improve exports of the targeted crops by 20% and create cluster-specific brands to enhance the competitiveness of cluster crops.
- CDP has a huge potential to transform the entire horticulture ecosystem improving its global competitiveness by building last-mile connectivity.
- Identified Crops and Clusters for Pilot Phase
- Shopian (J&K) for Apple
- Kinnaur (H.P.) for Apple,
- Lucknow (U.P.) for Mango,
- Kutch (Gujarat) for Mango
- Mahbubnagar (Telangana) for Mango,
- Anantapur (A.P.) for Banana
- Theni (T.N.) for Banana,
- Nasik (Maharashtra) for Grapes,
- Sepahijala (Tripura) for Pineapple,
- Solapur (Maharashtra) for Pomegranate
- Chitradurga (Karnataka) for Pomegranate
- West Jaintia Hills (Meghalaya) for Turmeric
Status of Indian Horticulture Sector
- India is the second-largest producer of horticulture crops globally, accounting for approximately 12% of the world’s production of fruits and vegetables.
- The area under horticulture crops increased to 25.5 million hectare in 2018-19, which is 20% of the total area under foodgrain, and produced 314 million tonnes.
- During 2019-20, horticulture sector has reached the highest ever horticulture production of 320.77 Million MT in the history of Indian horticulture.
- Top states in fruit production are Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh
- Top states in Vegetable production are West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
- Mango, Pomegranate, Sapota, Banana, Acid Lime and Aonla are the fruits for which India leads the market.