Gujarat’s area under horticulture grows three-fold in 20 years
Ahmedabad, Sept 3 Gujarat’s horticulture crop area has jumped by nearly three times in the past 20 years, putting the State on the national map of fruit crops, the state government said.
The cultivated area of horticultural crops has increased to 19.77 lakh hectares currently from 6.92 lakh hectares about 20 years ago. Horticultural production has increased from 62.01 lakh tonnes (lt) to 250.52 lt in the period.
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel said over 35 lakh horticulturists have benefited from the horticulture schemesin the past 20 years.
The Kesar mango variety has received a geographical identification (G.I.) tag, making it a unique product of the state, which is also the biggest producer of okra (bhindi) and sapota (chikoo) in the country. “This is a matter of pride for the horticultural farmers of Gujarat,” said Patel, after laying foundation stones for three new Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in Ahmedabad, Jamnagar and Kheda, and primary processing centres in Banaskantha, Kutch, Jamnagar, Navsari and Panchmahal districts.
The State government has implemented a comprehensive horticulture development programme for cultivation of perennial fruit crops on commercial basis. It also provides necessary assistance to assists farmers against high initial investment.The programme also benefits members of registered trusts, FPOs, FPCs and cooperative societies holding cultivable land.
Cultivation of fruit crops such as kamalam (dragon fruit) has been incentivised with maximum assistance of up to Rs 4.50 lakh per hectare for a farmer. Also, a Mission Madhmakhi Karyakram for beekeeping provides up to 75 per cent assistance in beekeeping, processing, packaging, cold room and bee clinics.
The CoEs will support farmers in making horticulture profitable and ensuring infrastructure facilities are available to the farmers. The state government has also allocated Rs 10 crore for apiculture (beekeeping).
“The state government has allocated Rs 10 crore n the last five years to 7.26 lakh benefic have availed the benefits of various horticulture schemes of the government,” Patel said.
The State has also implemented drone technology at an outlay of Rs 35 crore to cover 1.40 lakh acres of land. This technology is used to sprinkle fertiliser in fields, saving on labour costs.
September 03, 2022