IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


15th December, 2022 MISCELLANEOUS

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In News

  • A Meeting of the Board of Directors of the National Horticulture Board (NHB) was held under the chairmanship of the Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and decided that the process of approval of horticulture projects will be simplified for the farmers.
    • The present 2 stages process of approval will be completed in one go and it will be completely digital; along with minimum documents will be required.
    • Projects which used to be approved in a period of about 6 to 8 months will now be approved in just 45 days.

National Horticulture Board (NHB)

  • The National Horticulture Board (NHB) was set up by the Government of India in 1984 as an Autonomous organization under the administrative control of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
  • It was registered as a society under Societies Registration Act with its headquarters at Gurugram.
  • The broad aims and objectives of the Board are to develop;
    • Production clusters/hubs for integrated Hi-tech commercial horticulture.
    • Development of Post-harvest and cold chain infrastructure.
    • Ensuring the availability of quality planting materials.
    • To promote the adoption of new technologies/tools/ techniques for Hi-tech commercial horticulture etc.


India's position in the production of horticulture crops

  • India ranks second in fruits and vegetable production in the world, after China.
  • Its horticulture production has increased by 30% in the last five years.
  • India is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world and first rank in the production of Banana, Mango, Lime & Lemon, Papaya and Okra.
  • Last year, the total horticulture cultivation was 27.48 million hectares and according to the second advanced estimate, in 2021-22, it could be 27.74 million hectares.

Challenges in the Horticulture Sector

  • The minimum Support Price (MSP) does not apply to this sector.
  • Lack of machinery and equipment.
  • High price fluctuations.
  • Lack of good cold chain storage and transport networks.

 Initiatives taken

  • Horticulture Area Production Information System (HAPIS) -a web-enabled information system by which data from the states/districts are reported. This minimizes the time lag and maximizes the coverage area.
  • Coordinated programme on Horticulture Assessment and Management using geoinformatics (CHAMAN) - to develop a scientific methodology for estimation of area & production under horticulture crops. Method used: Remote Sensing and Sample Survey Techniques.
  • The mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for the holistic growth of the horticulture sector. Under MIDH, the Government of India (GOI) contributes 60%, of the total outlay for developmental programmes in all the states except states in the North East and the Himalayas, and 40% share is contributed by State Governments. In the case of the North Eastern States and the Himalayan States, GOI contributes 90%.
    • Schemes under it are National Horticulture Mission (NHM); Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States (HMNEH); National Horticulture Board (NHB); Coconut Development Board (CDB) & Central Institute of Horticulture (CIH), Nagaland.


Way Forward

  • Science and technology-led advancement
  • Improvement in quality seeds & plants and bringing newly introduced cultivators that ensure a quick and efficient cultivation process.
  • Imparting meaningful education related to Horticulture to upscale youth knowledge regarding various government schemes and modern equipment and machinery.
  • Adopt post-harvest management exercises to enhance the value of fruits in the long run.
  • Value addition is the process that meets the requirements of nutritional security. It boosts the economic value of Horticulture crops.
  • Organizing Research & Development Programmes at the National level.
  • Establishing a better long-distance transportation network should be a task of utmost importance to ensure smooth and hindrance-free transportation of fresh Horticultural produce.
  • Preserved cultivation, hydroponic and aeroponic should get enfolded for polishing up productivity along with the quality of produce.