Vegetable Excellence Centers: India is an agrarian country as agriculture plays a vital role in the Indian economy and the largest contributor to GDP along with fishery and forestry. Rural households largely depend on farming for their livelihood.
Himachal Pradesh government is taking steps to strengthen the condition of farmers by working on the quantity and quality of the vegetable produce. It is planning to set up centers of excellence for the promotion of vegetable cultivation. The farmers will get good quality rootstocks and the agricultural production will improve.
Production of off-Season Vegetables
The state government is emphasizing the production of off-season vegetables. There is a budgetary provision of Rs 484 crores for the promotion of agriculture. The vegetable sector will receive a major boost by these hi-tech excellence centers. It is being expected that this off-season vegetable cultivation will raise the state’s annual production to over 1.4 million tons and the annual revenue will reach above Rs 2,500 crores. The project aims to improve irrigation facilities, providing road connectivity to the fields and prompting farmers to adopt organic farming.
Key features of the scheme
Vegetable seedlings will be raised in a controlled environment to provide excellent planting material to the agriculturists.
If any farmer group is interested in setting up a hi-tech poly house unit, he will get 85% subsidy. This poly-house will cost from Rs 20 lakhs to Rs 25 lakhs.
The vegetables to be grown include cherry tomato, yellow and red capsicum, off-season cucumber, leafy vegetables like palak and dhania with five European vegetables.
Hi-tech seedlings will increase the production of off-season vegetables by 10 to 12%.
The government is planning to build 47,000 poly houses and 2,150 sprinkler and drip irrigation centers in the state from 2014 to 2018.
The farmers will be provided 50% subsidy for small lift irrigation scheme and for buying pumping machinery.
The project includes completion of 37 storage centers, 147 connected road, and 210 small irrigation schemes.
Agriculture and related sectors contribute approx. 15% of the GDP of the state. Himachal Pradesh government has a favorable climate for the growth of off-season vegetables and exploiting this fact, the government has planned for the growth of the agriculture sector that will improve the economic condition of the farmers and will add to the Gross Domestic Production. The quality of the produce will improve as hi-tech methods will be applied to the production of vegetables.
The state government makes sustainable efforts to promote agriculture and for these efforts, it receives appreciation at the national level. In this regard, the state government has earned the ‘Krishi Karmanya Award’ for consecutive three years.
Himachal Pradesh government is commendable as the farmers are the food provider of the whole nation so they must prosper in order to make the country progress.