Karnataka is the first state in the entire country to have a separate Horticulture Department, and many other states, at later years, followed the example of Karnataka . Because of this, the state could achieve remarkable progress in many fronts of Horticulture, whether Fruits or Vegetables or Flowers or Plantation crops.
Horticulture sector has been considered as a sunrise sector in Karnataka. Karnataka State is considered as Horticulture State in the country owing to its excellent soil and climatic conditions and multifaceted expertise in the sector. Horticulture produces worth of about Rs. 8500 crores are exported from Karnataka every year. Karnataka is considered as seed production hub of horticulture crops. The required seeds of different crops are produced by many multi-national companies which are supplied to different districts in the Karnataka and also exported to several foreign countries.
- I) State Horticulture leadership:
- i) Comprehensive Horticulture Development (CHD):
The Department of Horticulture is a pioneer in introducing CHD scheme in the year 2012-13, which is first of its kind in the country where end to end solutions are provided to the farmer. Under this scheme, 2-3 villages in each sub block are selected and Farmer Interest Groups (FIGS) are formed which are then provided with all latest technologies including quality seedlings, water harvesting structure, mulching, high density planting with canopy management, training and exposure visit, Post Harvest Management (PHM) and market linkages to farming community through formation of each crop clusters. Annually, about Rs. 100 crores is set apart for this scheme, where in 11,000 farmers are benefited in terms of productivity enhancement, Post Harvest Management (PHM) and better marketing interventions resulting increase in productivity and income.
- ii) Precision farming technologies:
The State is promoting precision farming of vegetables and fruits in a big way. Adoption of precision farming technology has resulted in increased area under banana to an extent of 2100 ha with an increased production of 1.04 lakh tons in last 3 years.
iii) Protected cultivation:
Major focus in the state is on protected cultivation as horizontal expansion takes away required land where food crops are cultivated. In the last 5 years nearly 10,000 poly houses (2000 ha) have been established. The production of vegetables mainly capsicum, European cucumber have increased by almost 5 times. Further, different flower crops such as gerbera, carnation and roses etc., are also grown resulting in higher productivity and supply of flowers throughout the year. The state is promoting this under Rashtriya Krishi Vikasa Yojane (RKVY), National Horticulture Mission (NHM) and Krishi bhagya schemes. A sum of about Rs. 300 crores is provided as subsidy to farmers during past 5 years.
- iv) Post Harvest Management:
Horticulture crops being perishable in nature, nearly 25-30% of post harvest losses are reported. ln order to reduce the post harvest losses, several post harvest management activities are taken up under RKVY, NHM, CHD and Sujala Ill schemes. In these schemes, steps have been taken for better harvesting practices, setting up of pre-cooling units, pack houses, primary processing facilities, value addition units and marketing linkages. The State provides additional funding by 25%. In view of the systematic planning and effective implementation of schemes, post harvest losses of horticulture crops in the State have been reduced by 6 – 8%.
- v) Quality planting materials:
The Department has taken up production and supply of quality planting material in the departmental farms and nurseries. Annually about 50 lakh seedlings/grafts are produced in the department’s farms and nurseries. These planting materials are supplied at reasonable cost to the farming community. In tissue culture laboratories, the department is producing about 1.5 million TC plantlets, mainly banana and flowers, which has contributed remarkable difference in increase in yield and reduction in the pest and disease incidences.
- vi) Bio-centres:
The Department has established bio-centres in different parts of the State with main objective of production of tissue culture plantlets and through integrated approach, organic inputs such as vermicompost, microbial consortium, Azospirillum, Azatobacter, Phosphate Solubilising Bacteria (PSB), VAM and bio control agents. Annually, about 300 tons of organic inputs are produced in these centres and supplied to farmers. The bio-centres have been provided with facilities for soil testing, pesticide residue analysis and training.
vii) Krishi Bhagya:
It is a flagship project of Karnataka State, where in the main object is to improve rainfed agriculture scenario through efficient management of rain water and enhancing farm productivity. The scheme has different components such as insitu moisture conservation, construction of water harvesting structures and providing micro irrigation system. Under horticulture component, poly house construction and cultivation of crops in open field are taken up. During the year 2014-15, 433 poly houses were constructed and during 2015-16, 1290 poly houses are taken up. The total annual outlay for the Krishi bhagya is Rs 500 crores of which Rs. 150 crores is provided for Horticulture Department. This scheme has helped in conservation of natural resources and enhancing the productivity of horticulture crops and income of farmers.
viii) Sujala III :
This programme is under World Bank project, where in, the horticulture component is introduced in micro watersheds where soil and water conservation works and crop planning are based on the land resource inventory, data generated by the project is stored in DSS for planners and academicians have been taken up by Water Shed Department. This programme is being implemented in 11 districts of the State with a total outlay of Rs. 40 crores for a period of five years.
Water is an important natural resources required in Agriculture and Horticulture crop cultivation. Minimal use of water and maximising the crop productivity can be achieved by use of drip irrigation. The Government of Karnataka is supporting the drip irrigation programme from 1991-92. Under Central Sector Scheme for micro irrigation programme from 2005-06 4.62 lakhs hectares area of horticulture crops was brought under drip irrigation by covering 3.57 lakhs beneficiaries with an financial assistance of Rs.1317.83 crores. During the last 3 years 1.49,095 hectares area was brought under drip irrigation by covering nearly 1,31,000 beneficiaries with an financial assistance of Rs.865.00 crores. In all the 30 districts of Karnataka an assistance of 90% subsidy is provided to all the beneficiaries for adoption of drip and sprinkler. Emphasis is given by the State for women and SC/ST farmers during selection of beneficiaries. 22,462 women beneficiaries and 20,270 SC/ST beneficiaries have been provided with subsidies. The State has also established Antharaganga Micro lrrigation Corporation for giving more focus for Micro Irrigation System.
2) Policy initiatives:
- a) Farmer producer Organizations (FPOs):
The horticulture department, having developed the required infrastructure mandatory for horticulture development and having created the favourable opinion about horticulture has now embarked upon empowering farmers to take care of their needs of backward and forward linkages, the department is facilitating creation of 58 FPOs with the management support from small farmers Agri business consortium (SFAC).
Critical policy initiatives to support FPOs have also been put in place,
i)Soon after registration of FPOs
Mandatory grant of Agriculture produce market committee (APMC) commission agent licence and trader licence.
Priority in providing godowns space in APMCs
Grant of licence for seed, fertilizer and pesticides to store and sell to the member farmers.
ii)90% subsidy support for establishing infrastructure like procurement centre, refer vans and trucks etc
iii) 90% support for procurement of mechanization tools to run custom hire service center for members.
iv)Connecting to corporate buyers through the frame work of PPP – IAD scheme of Gol.
v)Grant of oversight mechanise of works taken up in FPO areas
vi)Selection of beneficiaries left to FPOs for grant of Government benefits
vii. To allow FPOs to work as procurement agency for minimum support prize (MSP) operations.
- b) Public private partnership –
Integrated Horticulture Development (PPP- IHD): The department has decided to establish PPP-IHD project for first time in Karnataka, where in farmers. Government and corporate sector will participate in promoting production technologies, marketing network with buy-back arrangement. When once FPO are established in full length, PPP-IHD will be in place to create a link with farmers and corporators resulting in better and assured returns to the farming community. The Government will also chip in for providing required input subsidies and infrastructure facilities. This approach will result in overall improvement of Horticulture sector in the State.
- c) Wine Board:
Wine policy is enforced in the State in order to encourage wine production, marketing and to establish wine park. Nearly 1500 ha of grapes are grown which are suited for wine production. In the last 3 years wine production has raised from 60 lakh to 90 lakh litres.
- d) Mango Board:
Mango, being king of fruits, is cultivated on 1.75 lakh ha in Karnataka and the productivity enhancement activities, marketing linkages, processing and export promotion are being taken up by Mango Board. In order to help the farmers, Marketing melas are organised to supply quality mangoes directly to consumers by the producers. In this activity, both producers and consumers are benefited. This activity is been a big hit in the State where Mango is cultivated on large scale.
- e) Karnataka State Spices Development Board:
Karnataka is a major contributor in India for Production of spices in the country. The major spice crops grown in the state are, Chilli, pepper, cardamom, turmeric, ginger, coriander etc. Karnataka has set up an independent Board at the State level to promote and streamline the production, processing, marketing and export of Spice crops in the state. The “Karnataka State Spices Development Board” has been established during the year 2013-14. A budget of Rs.8.00 crores has been provided for processing and development of market and export promotion of spice crops.
- f) International flower auction Bangalore centre (IFAB):
The IFAB was established during 2002 with the main objective of providing a platform for floriculture farmers, traders and exporters, this is a novel effort of the State Government to benefit the farmers. The annual turnover is about Rs. 15 Crores in which roses, gerbera, carnation, anthurium and bird of paradise. The flowers are exported mainly to Holland, Dubai and Singapore.
- g) HOPCOMS:
A co-operative organisation established by GOK under Department of Horticulture. This organization provides direct marketing linkages to the farmers and consumers in order to reduce handling losses which otherwise would have gone up to 25-30%. HOPCOMS is operating 10,000 MT of fruits and vegetables annually amounting to Rs. 100 crores.
- h) Karnataka Horticulture Federation (KHF): In order to monitor and supervise the activities of HOPCOMS both at Bangalore and in different Districts KHF has been established. This organization works on the co-operative lines supports HOPCOMS in efficient functioning for realizing benefits for both farmers and consumers.
3) Centres of Excellence (CoE):
The Department of Horticulture has established 6 CoE’s – under Indo-Israel work plan (3), Indo-Dutch work plan (1) and RKVY (2). These centres are expected to provide Hi-tech horticulture technologies, through protected cultivation to famers, besides, organising demonstration and capacity building programmes.
4) Oil Palm:
Concerted efforts are made in introduction, cultivation and processing of oil palm in the State. The State has taken a pioneering step in importing quality seedlings from Malaysia and providing training to the farmers. The crop is grown on nearly 10,000 ha in the State and 5 processing units also established. A new high yielding variety of oil palm-Taraka was identified which is now being cultivated throughout the country.
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