India to double horticulture production

Tuesday, 23 November 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India aims to double its horticulture production to 300 million tonnes by 2012 and bring more cultivated area under fruits, vegetables and flowers, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said here Monday.

"The main objective of the newly launched National Horticulture Mission of the agriculture ministry is to enhance the production of horticulture products," Pawar told the parliamentary consultative committee attached to his ministry.

One of the largest horticulture producers, India's production has increased from 28.63 million tonnes in 1991-92 to 146 million tonnes in 2001-02. Exports too increased from 1.41 billion in 1991-92 to 67.59 billion in 2002-03.

"Increased demand for nutritional security, improvement in the income of farmers, value addition to agriculture products, increased availability of vegetables per person per day are the other objectives," Pawar said.

The mission promotes processing of horticulture produce and value addition by providing incentives for setting up processing industries and food parks, besides establishing linkages between markets.

The total budgetary requirement for the mission during 2002-07 is estimated at 59.74 billion, while for the current fiscal it will be 7.45 billion, Pawar said.

"The estimated outlay for the mission for the 11th Plan (2007-12) is to the tune of 157.25 billion. The agriculture ministry has taken up this matter with the Planning Commission for obtaining in principle approval for the scheme."

Responding to suggestions, Pawar said he would convene a meeting of state agriculture ministers to encourage a switch from traditional food grain production to horticulture in larger areas.

Source: IANS
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