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Union Agriculture Minister Chairs 32nd Meeting of Board of Directors of National Horticulture Board

The 32nd meeting of the Board of Directors of the National Horticulture Board (NHB) was held on 14th December 2022 in New Delhi under the chairmanship of Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and Chairman of the Board.

Shivam Dwivedi
A new vertical has been established under NHB to promote organic and natural farming.
A new vertical has been established under NHB to promote organic and natural farming.

It was decided that the approval process for horticulture projects would be simplified for farmers. Instead of two stages, the approval process will now be completed in a single step and will be entirely digital, with only a few documents required, ensuring that farmers face no difficulties. Significantly, many projects that were previously approved in 6 to 8 months will now be approved in 45 days.

Following this, the scheme design, application filing system, documentation, and approval process have all been simplified. The new simple design will be implemented on January 1, 2023.

Union Minister Tomar expressed hope that this process will improve the system's transparency and efficiency, promote Ease of Doing Business for the benefit of the farming community, and generate more high-tech commercial projects for NHB funding. NHB has also taken the initiative in the new design to promote the convergence of the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund (AIF) scheme with its credit-linked subsidy schemes.

The meeting also discussed the NHB's new Swachh Plant Programme, which will spend Rs 2100 crore with the help of the Asian Development Bank to solve the problem of planting material availability for farmers (ADB).

This will largely solve the planting material problem, particularly for many commercially important fruits. This programme will go a long way toward providing much-needed quality planting material for horticulture crops in the country.

A new vertical has been established under NHB to promote organic and natural farming. This vertical will oversee all aspects of the organic sector, including planning, monitoring, area expansion-production, market promotion for value chain development, and infrastructure development.

The progress of the Board's cluster development programme was also discussed at this meeting, and it was decided that the application approval process would be completed as soon as possible. The decisions made at the previous Board of Directors meeting were approved at today's meeting.

Kailash Choudhary and Shobha Karandlaje, Ministers of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Secretary Manoj Ahuja, Additional Secretary Abhilaksh Likhi, Joint Secretary Priyaranjan, and government and non-government members presented their suggestions at the meeting.

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