Horticultural department will encourage farmers to cultivate cash crops in Haryana

Dec 08, 2015 20:55 | Haryana
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Chandigarh December 8 – Horticultural activities are being given major thrust in Haryana and farmers are encouraged to adopt cultivation of fruits, vegetables and other horticultural crops so that the focus is shifted from traditional cycle of wheat paddy to cash crops and farmers earn remunerative prices of their crops.
While giving this information here today, a spokesman of the Horticulture department said that realising the importance of horticulture, the Haryana State University of Horticultural Sciences, Karnal Bill, 2015  was passed in the recently concluded winter session of Haryana Vidhan Sabha. Under the newly passed bill, a horticultural university will be established in the state for the purpose of affiliating, teaching, and ensuring proper and systematic training, research and extension in modern systems of horticultural sciences, vegetable sciences and allied sciences.  Three Regional Research Stations would also be set up in Ambala, Jind and Jhajjar. The main campus of the Horticulture University would be set up in district Karnal. With the setting up of the University, trained manpower in the field of horticulture would be available in the state, he added.
            Detailing about various projects set up in the State, the spokesman said that Centre of Excellence for vegetables has been set up at Gharaunda, Karnal at a cost of Rs six crore. In this centre, new technologies were being demonstrated to farmers besides practical trainings and they are encouraged to adopt the same. The Potato Technology Centre has been completed at Shamgarh, Karnal at a cost of Rs 4.5 crore over an area of 4.2 acre.
            Apart from this, Centre of Excellence for fruits has been established at Mangiana in Sirsa at a cost of Rs 9.70 crore. About one lakh plants of Kinnow and other fruit crops were sold at this centre, he added. He said that similarly, Centre of Excellence for Subtropical Fruits at Ladwa, Kurukshetra is being established at a cost of Rs 9.10 crore over an area of 25 acres of land. Likewise, Centre of Excellence for Flower has been sanctioned with a cost of Rs. 15 crore and is to be set up at Gharaunda (Karnal) and Kharindwa Farm, Kurukshetra.  Apart from this, an Integrated Bee Keeping Development Centre (IBDC) is being setup at GGN, Ramnagar, Kurukshetra with a cost of over Rs. 10.50 crore.
            He said that the Haryana Horticulture Department has fixed a target of 4.79 lakh hectare area under all horticulture crops for the year 2015-16 with the estimated production of 74.09 lakh Metric Tonnes (MT). Out of the total plan outlay of Rs 239.45 crore for the year 2015-16, a total expenditure of Rs 115.79 crore has been made upto November, 2015.
            The spokesman said that there are 20 schemes under implementation out of which 13 are State Plan Schemes, four Central Plan Schemes on share basis and three Non Plan Schemes. Enumerating details about the flagship programmes, he said that Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) has been implemented and a budget outlay of Rs. 130 crore has been kept under this scheme for the year 2015-16.
            He said that under the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA), a budget outlay of Rs 63.80 crore has been kept under the scheme for the year 2015-16.
            The spokesman said that under AHRD Plan Scheme, trainings were provided to the farmers. He said that as many as 3,065 farmers were imparted training during 2014-15 out of which 2,000 farmers were provided training at Horticulture Training Institute (HTI), Uchani, Karnal and 990 at Food Processing Centre  Jind, Sirsa and Kurukshetra.  Apart from this, one year diploma course was held at HTI, Uchani, Karnal and in this course 25 students were awarded diplomas. Also, two, six month Gardener Certificate Course were held at HTI, Uchani, Karnal and 50 students were awarded certificates.
            Throwing light on the achievements of the Horticulture Department, he said that to facilitate marketing and branding of agriculture produce, “Haryana Fresh” brand has been launched. The area under protected cultivation has been increased from 2,510 hectare in 2013-14 to 2,909 hectare in 2014-15. During 2014-15, an area of 399 hectare was covered under protected cultivation. He said that to encourage water saving techniques, area under micro irrigation has been increased from 37,078 hectare in 2013-14 to 39,734 hectare in 2014-15. During 2014-15, an additional area of 2,656 hectare was covered.
            He said that to increase water use efficiency and store water, farmers were provided 100 per cent assistance for construction of water farm ponds. The total number of water ponds has increased from 3,139 in 2013-14 to 3,350 in 2014-15.  As many as 211 water tanks were constructed during 2014-15, he added. He said that farmers were provided vegetable hybrid seedlings on subsidy at the rate of 50 per cent from Centre of Excellence for Vegetables, Gharaunda, Karnal, Centre of Excellence for Fruits, Mangiana, Sirsa and High Tech Green House, Gurgaon. A total of 57.96 lakh seedlings were provided to the farmers during 2014-15, he further added.
            The spokesman said that to provide latest know-how to the farmers, besides organising three State level Melas, an Agri Leadership Summit was also organised in March, 2015.  He said that during the Summit, the Horticulture Department organized farmers pavilion by inviting 45 farmers leaders from all over State and 10 Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs) from other states for demonstration of their innovative activities and their activities were demonstrated in an exclusive pavilion during the Summit.
            He said that to encourage farmers for collectivization of their produce, the department is forming Farmer Interest Groups (FIGs) and FPOs for Horticultural crops and upto April 2015, 325 FIGs and 13 FPOs have been registered covering 6,328 farmers. He said that all the applications under National Horticulture Mission (NHM) were made online in HORTNET software whereas, all the Micro Irrigation Work including application processing and sanction are made online in MINET. He said that a new software was got developed for protected cultivation work in POLYNET. The statistical data was started to make online under HAPIS software and a project named CHAMAN was initiated for estimation of area and production in association with Planning Department, Indian Agriculture Statistical Research Institute and Mahalanobis.