Horticulture development project


Horticulture development project (Bihar)

Bihar Horticulture Development Project (BHDP) is an agriculture development programme for developing and promoting the horticultural industry of Bihar. This is part of the Union Government’s initiative to make Bihar self sufficient in producing food grains.

BHDP was launched by the then Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar in 2009. BHDP is currently being implemented by the Department of Horticulture.

History

In April 2009, the Centre launched the Bihar Horticulture Development Project (BHDP), to develop horticulture in the state. It is a part of the National Agriculture Market Scheme (NAAS), which will provide support of Rs.3,000 crore to the farmers.

BHDP targets five regions in Bihar - Buxar, Bhagalpur, Patna, Siwan and Supa.

Project Objectives

Increase in the availability of good quality fruits

Fostering demand for fruits of high quality

Introduction of high value added vegetables

Improvement of water

Improvement of soil and plant protection.

Project Implementation

Horticulture is the second largest sector of agriculture in Bihar. As of 2012, there were about 2.8 million farmers engaged in agriculture in Bihar.

The horticulture produce is exported through the two state-owned horticulture export promotion companies – Bihar State Horticulture Development Company Ltd and Bihar Fruit and Vegetable Development Corporation Ltd.

The horticulture sector in Bihar faces several issues. A significant number of small and marginal farmers do not cultivate horticulture because of lack of credit. Horticulture farmers in Bihar face problems of water shortage. A large number of farmers in Bihar are dependent on tube wells as their water source, causing water pollution in many places in the state.

There are five regions in Bihar, that has been identified for the development of the horticulture sector.

The project aims to increase horticulture production to meet the increasing demand from the domestic and export markets. The Project would also help in developing the skills of small and marginal farmers to grow better quality fruits and vegetables.

The project will focus on

Development of nurseries

Farmers education, capacity building and awareness

Diversification of crop varieties

Sustainable cultivation systems

Sustainable irrigation

Conservation of water

Increase in the availability of quality fruits

Introduction of high value added vegetables

Improvement of water

The project will help farmers in developing sustainable cultivation systems to improve the quality of fruits and vegetables grown in the area.

The project is supported by the Department of Agriculture, Government of Bihar.

The Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) has awarded two contracts for the development of a multi-purpose project and one contract for the development of a demonstration project for cultivation of fruits and vegetables. A total amount of around Rs. 80 crore has been awarded by ICAR.

The horticulture sector in India is a small yet growing sector. In India, farmers of the horticulture sector are concentrated in north eastern and southern parts of the country.

There are four major horticulture-based states of India- Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. These states account for more than 90% of total horticulture production in India. Andhra Pradesh, which has a land area of more than 15.4 lakh hectares, has accounted for the highest share of 20% of the total state production.

The project will benefit more than 50,000 farmers and is expected to provide livelihood to approximately 20,000 farmers at the village level.

The government has been working on different ways to promote small holdings. Earlier this year, the Indian government announced the setting up of a Rs. 100-crore Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) scheme to support small farmers to increase and diversify production.

The government’s new initiatives include the formation of a ‘RKVY Mission’ which will provide funding to state governments for supporting rural development.

“The project will involve the use of innovative and state of the art technology in the field of cultivation for fruit and vegetables. We will try to establish farmers’ groups to get a clear idea of the challenges they are facing. We will then help them with seedlings, chemicals, fertilizers and the like," said NCP leader Sharad Pawar.

The NCP plans to organise a farmers’ meet in November to discuss ways to improve their livelihoods.

In November last year, Maharashtra began the “Jal Shakti Abhiyan" (JSA) scheme to set up 5,000 drip-irrigation systems in drought-hit areas.

“JSA is an initiative to promote drip irrigation technologies in all irrigation projects of Maharashtra, and will benefit around 1.5 lakh farmers in the state. We will introduce irrigation systems to farmers who apply for it, so they can use it in their farms, which will prove very beneficial to farmers, especially those living in remote areas," said Maharashtra agriculture minister Datta Padsalgikar.

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