New Delhi, March 24: Agricultural Minister on Thursday while addressing the inter-session meeting of the Parliamentary Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, in New Delhi said that there is tremendous potential for development of the horticulture sector and there is need to ensure focused attention for harnessing available potential through scaling up ongoing interventions. He further said, “Horticulture becomes a key driver for economic development in many States.”
Notably, the strategy for making Horticulture sector a key driver in transforming India’s agrarian landscape by ensuring convergence between research institutions, state horticulture missions, livelihood programmes and entrepreneurship was also discussed during the meeting.
Minister Singh said that this session not only deliberate on the achievements and challenges facing the horticulture sector, including Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) but also discuss the Horticulture sector in our country refers to a wide variety of crops, including fruits, vegetables, tuber crops, mushroom, ornamental plants including cut flowers, spices, plantation crops, medicinal and aromatic plants and the sector has become a key driver for economic development in many states.
Agriculture Minister stated that India is currently producing about 286 million tonnes of horticulture produce from an area of about 24.4 million hectare, accounting for about 13 percent of the total world production of fruits and leads the world in the production of mango, banana, papaya, sapota, pomegranate, acid lime and aonla.
He further informed the session that India is the second largest producer of vegetables after China and is a leader in the production of vegetables like peas and okra. Besides, India occupies the second position in the production of brinjal, cabbage, cauliflower and onion and third in potato and tomato in the world. Special thrust is being given for production of vegetables under protected cultivation under Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH).
The Minister said that there are numerous success stories, for example, banana in Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, guava and tomato in Chattisgarh, pomegranate and mango in Gujarat, pineapple in Nagaland, kiwi in Arunachal and orchids in Sikkim, off-season vegetables in Uttarakhand, etc the challenge is to complement the sector with food processing, cold-chain agro-logistics, agri-business, input related services, agricultural lending, insurance and value chain related services.
The Minister hoped that deliberations of the In-Session Consultative Committee would help bring a clearer insight of the lead role that horticulture must play in improving livelihood options, diversification of agriculture, and higher income to farmers.
Parshottam Rupala, the Minister of State for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Sudarshan Bhagat, the Minister of State for Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, the Members of Parliament, Chintaman Navsha Wanaga (Lok Sabha), Kamala Devi Patle (Lok Sabha), Manshankar Ninama (Lok Sabha), Kunwar Pushpendra Singh Chandel (Lok Sabha), Rodmal Nagar (Lok Sabha), Sanjay Shamrao Dhotre (Lok Sabha), Sumedhanand Saraswati (Lok Sabha), and Dr. Tapas Mandal (Lok Sabha) attended the meeting.