To ensure holistic growth of horticulture, Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Shri Narendra Singh Tomar virtually launched the Horticulture Cluster Development Programme (CDP).
- The central sector programme aims at growing and developing identified horticulture clusters to make them globally competitive.
- These clusters will be implemented through Cluster Development Agencies (CDAs) which are appointed on the recommendations of the respective State/UT Government.
- The programme is designed to leverage geographical specialization and promote integrated and market-led development of horticulture clusters.
- It is expected to converge with other initiatives of the Government such as the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund
- National Horticulture Board (NHB) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare is the implementing agency.
- 53 horticulture clusters have been identified, of which 12 have been selected for the pilot launch of the programme which will be scaled up to cover all the identified clusters later.
- The clusters of the pilot phase include Shopian (J&K) and Kinnaur (H.P.) for Apple, Lucknow (U.P.), Kutch (Gujarat) and Mahbubnagar (Telangana) for Mango, Anantpur (A.P.) and Theni (T.N.) for Banana, Nasik (Maharashtra) for Grapes, Siphahijala (Tripura) for Pineapple, Solapur (Maharashtra) and Chitradurga (Karnataka) for Pomegranate and West Jaintia Hills (Meghalaya) for Turmeric.
- It will benefit about 10 lakh farmers and related stakeholders of the value chain.
- It aims to improve exports of the targeted crops by approx. 20% and create cluster-specific brands to enhance the competitiveness of cluster crops.
- It is expected to attract an estimated investment of INR 10,000 crore when implemented in all the 53 clusters.
National Horticulture Board
- It was set up in April 1984 on the basis of recommendations of the "Group on Perishable Agricultural Commodities", headed by Dr M. S. Swaminathan, the then Member (Agriculture), Planning Commission, as an Autonomous organization under the administrative control of Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare.
- It was registered under Societies Registration Act 1860, thereafter, re-registered under the Haryana Registration and Regulation of Societies Act, 2012.
- its headquarters is at Gurugram and 29 field offices are located all over the country.
- The main objectives of the NHB are to improve integrated development of Horticulture industry and to help in coordinating, sustaining the production and processing of fruits and vegetables.