To provide strategic development to the horticulture sector, so as to increase farmers income, a pioneer horticulture project called CHAMAN, has been launched three years back by the government. The project is being implemented by Mahalanobis National Crop Forecast Centre (MNCFC) using remote sensing technology and is likely to be completed in March 2018.
Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh today reviewed the project in New Delhi. Talking to reporters, Singh said, “ The horticulture sector is one of the major drivers of growth in Agriculture sector. This sector provides nutrient rich crops to the people and better remunerative prices to the farmers thereby augmenting their income. It also provides higher employment opportunities in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. Thus it has gained significant prominence in the recent years.”
India is the Second largest producer of Vegetables and Fruits in the world and is First in the production of Banana, Mango, Lime and Lemon, Papaya and Okra.
Singh informed that CHAMAN is a pioneer project in which remote sensing technique is being used for strategic development of horticulture sector as also to increase the farmers’ income. It gives methodology for preparing reliable estimates of horticulture crops. He said that the income of farmers will increase by growing selected crops in the high suitable areas identified under CHAMAN in the current Jhum /waste lands.
Besides this, the Post-Harvest damages of farmers would be significantly reduced by creation of desired Post Harvest Infrastructures like cold storages etc. thereby increasing their income. In addition the Geo-Spatial Studies like crop intensification, orchard rejuvenation and aqua-horticulture would further help the farmers’ to grow their horticultural crops in a profitable manner which will help doubling their income.
Union Agriculture Minister said that it is proposed to hand over the interim reports of North Eastern States Site Suitability Studies to the respective State Governments by January 2018 for immediate consideration. The waste land/ jhum land areas identified for one crop in one district each of North Eastern States, under site suitability studies would be utilised by the State Governments to take up the projects of development of these areas on priority. On completion of this Project, the Geo-Spatial Studies would be conducted in all major states of the country.
Singh told that on completion of this project, the methodology developed for seven important horticulture crops would be made operational in all the States. The remote sensing technology would be extended to other horticulture crops in future.
Apart from these, various flagship programmes of the Ministry such as PMFBY, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana (PMKSY), Soil Health Card, Rashtriya KrishiVikasYojana (RKVY) among others are using remote sensing, GIS and GPS tools for their effective implementation.