Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Mohanbhai Kalyanjibhai Kundaria today informed Parliament about recent measures and plans of the Centre government to boost Horticulture and agriculture in the country.
He said in Lok Sabha that under MIDH, the sub-scheme Horticulture Mission for North East & Himalayan States (HMNEH) focuses on holistic development of horticulture in North Eastern region. Horticulture covers fruits, vegetables, root and tuber crops, mushrooms, spices, flowers, aromatic plants, coconut, cashew, cocoa and bamboo.
The Minister informed that for the year 2014-15 the total contribution of Agriculture sector in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at constant price (2011-12) is approximately 17 percent. Horticulture accounts for 30 percent (approx) of India’s agricultural GDP. During the year 2013-14 total value of export of Horticulture is Rs. 14,365 crore.
MIDH scheme also encourages aggregation of farmers into farmers groups to bring economy of scale and scope, enhance horticulture production augment farmer’s income and strengthen nutritional security, improve productivity by way of quality germ plasm, planting material and water use efficiency through Micro Irrigation, support skill development and create employment generation opportunities for rural youth in horticulture. “Capacity buildings of farmers and technitions is also provided for adopting improved technologies, through existing institutions like State Agriculture Universities, Krishi Vigyan Kendras, institutes with Department of Horticulture in States,” he said.
Scheme also envisages creation of infrastructure for Post Harvest Management (PHM) and marketing for better price realization of produce in order to ensure sustainable and insured livelihood for people employed in horticulture sector.
In a reply to another query, the Minister said that continued efforts are being made to create awareness about crop insurance schemes by the extension division of implementing States in coordination with the insurance companies. “The salient activities under awareness campaign, involve the publicity of features & benefits of the scheme through advertisements in leading National/local News Papers, telecast through audio-visual media, distribution of pamphlets, participation in agriculture fairs/mela/gosti and organization of workshops/trainings and SMS through Kisan Portal etc,” he added.
Ten private General Insurance Companies have been empanelled alongwith Agriculture Insurance Company (AIC) of India Ltd for implementation of Modified National Agricultural Insurance Scheme (MNAIS) and Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) components scheme of NCIP.
Kundaria also said that in order to enhance irrigation facilities in the country and also provide Har Khet ko pani, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) has been approved for implementation across the country.
Major objective of PMKSY is to achieve convergence of investments in irrigation at field level, expand cultivable area under assured irrigation, improve on –farm water use efficiency to reduce wastage of water, enhance adoption of precision-irrigation and other water saving technologies.