Horticulture Cluster Development Program is launched by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare to promote the export of horticultural produce. HCDP was launched virtually on May 31st, 2021.
This article aims to provide relevant details on the Horticulture Cluster Development Program, as it is important for the current affairs section of various competitive exams.
Aspirants preparing for the upcoming IAS exam can encounter questions on Horticulture Cluster Development Program and governmental initiatives to boost horticulture sector, hence it will be useful to go through the important facts.
Candidates can mark this topic under the UPSC Mains GS Paper III.
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Horticulture Cluster Development Program – Overview
- The Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) Narendra Singh Tomar, launched HCDP to enhance the global competitiveness of the Indian horticulture sector.
- There is a need to develop such horticulture clusters throughout the country to help the farmers with small size of holdings through formation of FPOs.
- The National Horticulture Board has been designated as the Nodal Agency for implementation of the Cluster Development Programme as a component of the Central Sector Scheme of NHB.
- The Ministry of Agriculture has identified 53 horticulture clusters, of which 12 have been selected for the pilot launch of the Programme.
- These clusters will be implemented through Cluster Development Agencies (CDAs) which are appointed on the recommendations of the respective State/UT Government.
- The programme framework will ensure an astute engagement of state governments through CDAs, and institutionalization of learnings for future replication and scaling up of the programme in other clusters.
- Financial Assistance will be provided by National Horticulture Board to the Implementing Agencies through CDAs appointed for the respective Clusters. The Clusters have been divided into three different categories – Mega, Midi, and Mini depending upon the area covered in the Cluster
Identified Crops and Clusters For Pilot Phase
Horticulture cluster is a regional/geographical concentration of targeted horticulture crops. The clusters of the pilot phase include –
- Shopian (J&K) for Apple
- Kinnaur (H.P.) for Apple,
- Lucknow (U.P.) for Mango,
- Kutch (Gujarat) for Mango
- Mahbubnagar (Telangana) for Mango,
- Anantapur (A.P.) for Banana
- Theni (T.N.) for Banana,
- Nasik (Maharashtra) for Grapes,
- Sepahijala (Tripura) for Pineapple,
- Solapur (Maharashtra) for Pomegranate
- Chitradurga (Karnataka) for Pomegranate
- West Jaintia Hills (Meghalaya) for Turmeric
- National Bamboo Mission (NBM)
- Green Revolution
- National Saffron Mission (NSM)
- High Yield Crops in India
Horticulture CDP – Objectives
- The program is designed to leverage the geographical specialisation of horticulture clusters.
- To address the concerns of the horticulture value chain from preproduction, production, post-harvest, logistics, branding, to marketing activities.
- To enhance competitiveness in the domestic and export market in an integrated manner.
- To reduce harvest and post-harvest losses by developing, expanding, upgrading the infrastructure for post-harvest handling of produce, value addition and market linkages.
- To facilitate the introduction of innovative technologies and practices to help enhance the global competitiveness of focus cluster crops.
- To build the capacity of stakeholders and enhance farmers’ income through cluster-specific interventions, including brand promotion.
- To facilitate the dovetailing of resources, including convergence of various government schemes such as the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund – AIF in order to entrench stakeholders in the global value chains.
|The Agriculture Infrastructure Fund is a medium – long term financing facility for investment in projects for post-harvest management infrastructure and community farming assets. It will leverage the central sector scheme of the Ministry for formation and promotion of 10,000 Farmers Producer Organisations (FPOs).|
Anticipated Benefits of HCDP
- ‘Doubling farmers’ income is one of the biggest priorities of our government. It is envisioned to benefit about 10 lakh farmers and related stakeholders of the value chain.
- It is expected to improve exports of the targeted crops by approx. 20% and create cluster-specific brands to enhance the competitiveness of cluster crops.
- It also will attract an estimated investment of INR 10,000 crore when implemented in all the 53 clusters.
- It will help in achieving economies of scale and to create cluster-specific brands to entrench them into national and global value chains bringing higher remuneration to the farmers.
- HCDP has a huge potential to transform the entire horticulture ecosystem improving its global competitiveness by building last-mile connectivity with the use of multimodal transport for the efficient and timely evacuation and transport of horticulture produce.
Status of Indian Horticulture Sector
- India is the second-largest producer of horticulture crops globally, accounting for approximately 12% of the world’s production of fruits and vegetables.
- The area under horticulture crops increased to 25.5 million hectare in 2018-19, which is 20% of the total area under foodgrain, and produced 314 million tonnes.
- During 2019-20, horticulture sector has reached the highest ever horticulture production of 320.77 Million MT in the history of Indian horticulture.
- Top states in fruit production are Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh
- Top states in Vegetable production are West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
- Mango, Pomegranate, Sapota, Banana, Acid Lime and Aonla are the fruits for which India leads the market.
Implementation of Horticulture Cluster Development Program
- NHB shall provide financial assistance and supervise the overall implementation of the programme.
- A government or public sector entity, recommended by state/central government, shall be appointed as a Cluster Development Agency (CDA) for each identified cluster for the implementation of CDP.
- CDA will establish a Cluster Development Cell (CDC) with a dedicated team of officers within the CDA for smooth implementation of the programme.
- CDAs shall select the Implementing Agency/ies (IAs) by floating Call for Proposals in an open and transparent manner for the all three identified verticals of the CDP
- Project Management Unit-PMU shall provide technical assistance to NHB and CDA for the effective implementation of CDP.
Way Forward with HCDP
- There is tremendous scope for enhancing the productivity of Indian horticulture which is imperative to cater to the country’s estimated demand of 650 Million MT of fruits and vegetables by the year 2050.
- Some of the new initiatives like focus on planting material production, cluster development programme, credit push through Agriculture Infrastructure Fund, formation and promotion of FPOs are the right steps in this direction.
Other initiatives to Promote Horticulture Sector
- Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) – is a scheme for the holistic growth and development of the Indian horticulture sector. It covers vegetables, fruits, roots and tuber crops, aromatic plants, flowers, spices, bamboo, coconut, cashew and cocoaIt. MIDH provides technical support and advice to state horticultural missions, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), Saffron Mission and the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA).
- Project CHAMAN – it stands for Coordinated Horticulture Assessment and Management using geo-informatics and aims to make use of the Geo-informatics to help the farmers so as to help the horticulture segment of Indian agriculture.
- National Horticulture Mission – is a centrally sponsored scheme to promote holistic growth of the horticulture sector through an area based regionally differentiated strategies. The scheme has been subsumed as a part of Mission for Integration Development of Horticulture (MIDH).
Aspirants must go through the relevant related links provided below to assist their preparation for upcoming UPSC Prelims and Mains examination –