Horticulture and food processing ensures prosperity of farmers and youth

Bhopal : The past year has brought a new dawn for the farmers and unemployed youth in Madhya Pradesh. The state government has also opened up avenues for financial assistance giving priority to the farmers and youth in the field of agriculture and horticulture and food processing. Both these areas have become a strong medium of additional income for the farmers and youth. Now the farmers of the state have started to adopt the business of horticulture and food processing along with farming. Unemployed youth are also becoming self-sufficient by adopting this sector with modern technology.

After the formation of the new government in the state, the biggest challenge was to make the farmer prosperous and provide employment to the youth. The government has increased the subsidy of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled tribe farmers from 50 to 70 percent in the vegetable and spice area expansion scheme in horticulture. Due to this, farmers are getting grants up to Rs 70 thousand per hectare. The grant is also being provided on the material used for making pavilions of plastic crate and vine vegetable crops along with seeds. This has resulted in a reduction of 20 to 25 percent in loss of crops incurred in transporting horticulture products from the farm to the market. Good quality of crop products has started fetching more value in the market. The government has now decided to give a grant for cultivating up to two hectares at the rate of Rs 7 to 12 thousand per hectare on pavilion building material of vine crops on the demand of the farmers. By this, the time of production of the crop will be increased from 6 to 7 months by planting vine vegetables on the pavilion. Also, due to very good quality of production, the market rate will also increase by 20 to 25 percent. This way, farmers will be able to get an income of Rs 2 to 3 lakhs per hectare from crops like bitter gourd (karela), bottle gourd (lauki) and sponge gourd (gilki).

Planting and processing of Totapari mango

Considering the possibilities of food processing from this year in the state, 1000 acres of saplings of Totapari mango variety is being planted in Hoshangabad, Harda and Betul districts. In this, a special plan for planting saplings has been implemented by providing a grant-in-aid of Rs 56 thousand per acre to the farmers. The scheme will also be extended to other districts next year. This variety of mangoes can generate income from Rs one to one and a half lakh per acre for the farmers. Along with this, employment will also be generated by the establishment of mango processing industrial units in the state.

Chief Minister’s Food Processing Scheme implemented

The Chief Minister’s Food Processing Scheme has been implemented in the state from this year. On the lines of the Department of Industries, government land / revenue land of one to two and a half acres per beneficiary will be made available to educated unemployed youth on lease for thirty years. Under the scheme, floriculture will be encouraged by creating clusters of 100 acres each. Technical guidance and market system for the farmers will be made available at the cluster site itself. The prices of flowers will also be good. A cluster of protected cultivation of orchid flowers is being prepared on 100 acres in Chhindwara. With this, the beneficiaries will get an income between Rs 10 to 15 lakhs per acre.

Hi-tech Horticulture Training Center in Chhindwara

An International level Hi-tech Horticulture Training Centre is coming up in Chhindwara. This will benefit the farmers with new techniques in the field of horticulture and food processing. Also, the establishment of food processing units in the state will be encouraged. Cashew plantation is being done at a cost of about Rs 432 lakhs in 1500 hectare area in Betul, Chhindwara, Seoni and Balaghat districts of the state. With this, farmers will get an annual income of Rs 2 to 5 lakhs.

Two new horticulture colleges have been opened in Rehli and Chhindwara districts in the state. Also, three centers of excellence in horticulture sector, Citrus in Chhindwara, Vegetables in Morena and floriculture in Bhopal are being established under the Indo-Israel project.

Farmers will be provided disease-free plants of various varieties of good quality with demonstration and training of new techniques of cultivation of orange, sweet lime (mosambi), lemon, vegetables and flowers from these centres. A new project costing Rs 925 lakh from Mandi Fund is being implemented at Model Nursery Kanhasaiya and Gulab Udyan, Bhopal for demonstration of mechanization including flower display and research.

In the last one year, the state government has made the path of innovation easier for farmers and youth. Now the youth will also export organic food products of high quality. This will provide good prices to the farmers and adequate employment to the youth.