Horticultural crops require significant amounts of water due to their perishable nature. Water is a critical component of the growth and development of horticultural crops, it is, therefore, recommended that water availability must be ensured in the field. Usually 30- 40 liters of water per minute per acre well capacity for each acre planted are required for horticultural crops. The rising cost of energy which is required to pull water and distribution is rising day by day. In addition to its improved and efficient delivery modern system of water application is required. Present water availability vis-à-vis its requirement calls for "MORE CROP PER DROP".

Dr. A. K. SINGH shares his experiences and the support provided by the Board to the farmers/promoters/stakeholders with the Krishi Jagran Team after joining  as  Managing Director of  National Horticulture Board.

He explains the main focus of the Board’s activities to increase the cropped area under high-tech commercial horticulture projects to boost production and  minimize the post- harvest losses, creating cold storage & CA storage capacities, refrigerated vans and supporting pack houses preferably near the production centers of horticultural crops.  He said, as per Government scheme, we are providing compelling subsidies in different categories. Raising horticulture crops one requires capital, consistent technology and confidence among other things to bear the risks owing to its perishable nature. Therefore, NHB provides variable subsidy in the field of horticulture to promote production of fruits, vegetables etc and their post-harvest management to minimize the losses, raise the farmer’s income to ensure nutritional security. 

He also told us, that NHB partly supports expert and farmer interaction activities in form of “Kisan Goshthi/ Exhibitions/Conferences” with a limit of Rs. 1-5 lacs subsidy depending upon its scale. For rejuvenation of senile orchards over Rs. 5 lac subsidy is given to improve crop production and quality. In order to produce large number of authentic planting material NHB supports establishment of mother orchards and developing nursery infrastructure. We constantly promote activities aiming to raise early sapling in poly-houses/green house ensuring higher income and increasing cropping intensity to make full use of farm implements and other resources.

For high volume transport of horticultural commodities from distant places we believe rail services could play a significant role. For best logistic solutions, we have hired RITES to conduct a feasibility study. In poly-houses, cucurbits, rose, bellpepper, tomato, gerbera etc. cultivation is also being subsidized and helping develop marketing infrastructure.

We also take care of efforts in transferring  of technology to producers or farmers and service providers such as gardeners, farm level skilled workers, operators in cold storages, work force carrying out post harvest management including processing of fresh horticulture produce.

Dr. Singh further informed that in order to have economic revival of Saffron cultivation in J &K, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India has approved a National Saffron Mission (NSM).  The component of Quality Testing and Marketing under “Saffron Park Project” is being executed by NHB.  The construction of this Saffron Park is underway and the park will be made functional by early next year.  He informed that this facility will greatly help the Saffron Growers of Kashmir.

Components and Patterns of Assistance
The major schemes which are being subsidized by NHB at the farmer level are as under :

1. Commercial Horticulture Development in open field condition
Maximum Area : more than 2 hectares
Credit linked back-ended subsidy at 40% of the total project cost limited to Rs. 30 lakh per project in general areas and at 50% of project cost limited to Rs. 37.50 lakh in NE Region, Hilly and Scheduled areas.

2. Commercial Horticulture Development in Protected Cover
Maximum Area : over 2500 sq meter

Credit linked back-ended subsidy at 50% of the total project cost limited to Rs. 56 lakh .

3. Intergrated Post Harvest Management
Credit linked back-ended subsidy at 35% of the total project cost limited to Rs. 50.75 lakh per project in general area and @ 50% of project cost limited to Rs. 72.50 lakh per project in NE, Hilly and Scheduled areas.

4. Cold Storage and Controlled Atmosphere Storages
Assistance @ 35% of the capital cost of project in general areas and 50% in case of NE, Hilly and Scheduled Area for a storage capacity above 5000 MT upto 10,000 MT. for various types of storages as per different cost norms for each.  For more details refer to the scheme guidelines available at nhb.gov.in.

Assessment Criteria : A system of Graded Certification for fruit plant nuseries:
It is essentially different from licensing of Horticulture Nurseries under provision of some Act or administrative orders. It is based on continuous evaluation of source of parent material, propagation in disease free condition by adoption of technically prescribed method, adoption of Good Nursery Management Practices, Reliable record keeping and training of staff. Each parameter will be critically examined by assessment team as per laid down criteria.

Following Grading shall be provided:
Outstanding : *****
Excellent     : ****
Very Good  : ***
Good          : **
Satisfactory : *

For more details visit nhb.gov.in 

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