HORTICULTURE DEVELOPMENT SCENARIO IN THE STATE

 

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Introduction

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Crop Improvement

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Post harvest infrastructure and Management

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Marketing  

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Exports

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Future Thrust        

 

 

 

Introduction

             Karnataka occupies a prominent place in the Horticulture map of the country.  Horticultural crops occupy an area of 18.00lakh ha. with an production 136.38 lakh tones.  Although the area comprises only 14.44 per cent of the net cultivated area in the state, the total income generated from the horticulture sector accounts to over 40 per cent of the total income derived from the combined agriculture sector. This accounts for 17 per cent of the GDP of the state.

        Horticulture provides excellent opportunities in raising the income of the farmers even in the dry tracts.  A significant shift towards horticulture is evident in the state with an increase in area and production.  For instance, about 58,000 ha. area has been brought under horticultural crops through the watershed programmes. Horticulture provides higher unit productivity and offers great scope for value addition and this sector is taking inroads throughout the length and breadth of the state.  Karnataka having the highest acreage under dry farming in the country next only to Rajasthan, has a great potential to grow high value but less water demanding horticultural crops.

 Crop Improvement

 Strengths

 Weaknesses

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Weak Extension Linkage in the Department -   although the Department of  Horticulture is one of the major departments in the state, the extension personnel available at the grass root level is negligible.  The extension personnel available at taluk level in the Department are 3-4 as compared to 20-25 personnel with the other line Departments viz., Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Forest etc.  No extension personnel are available either at Mandal or village level.  This results in inadequate technology transfer.

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Inadequate supply of quality planting material  - with the existing infrastructure available in the farms and nurseries, the Department can meet only 40% of the total requirement of planting material with respect to fruit crops.  The supply of planting material under plantation and spices and flower crops, the much lower compared to the demand.  Under vegetable crops, the department’s role is negligible as far as the planting material is concerned.  Therefore, the existing farms and nurseries require further strengthening.

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Upgradation of Technical knowledge - the technical advances in the field of Horticulture is tremendous both within and outside the country.  The departmental personnel are not properly exposed to these advances, resulting in inadequate transfer of advanced technology.  There is a need for intensification of training programmes for farmers and extension personnel.

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Area Expansion on unscientific basis leading to declined productivity and fluctuation in market prices.

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Inadequate infrastructure for marketing, handling,  and processing of horticultural produce.

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Inadequate air cargo and rail cargo facilities in the state.

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Inadequate facilities for post harvest handling of horticultural produce especially during glut seasons.

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Inadequate power supply in the state and exorbitant power tariff for the floriculture and processing sectors as these enterprises are considered as an industry.

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 Entry of multinational companies posing a threat to small and marginal farmers in terms of market competition and prices.

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The irrigation resources in the state is smaller when compared with the neighboring states.

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Regional imbalance in the development of horticulture within the state.

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Monocropping system of cultivation and hence increase in incidence of diseases and pests and production.

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Increase in prices of plant protection chemicals and fertilizers.

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Failure in market stability.

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Complexity in the incidence of pests and diseases.

 Opportunities

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Abundant land added with congenial agro climatic conditions for future horticulture  development through area expansion to achieve doubling of present  area as envisaged in the New State Agricultural Policy.

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Scope for development of Horticulture in the state owing to the increase in demand for horticultural products including flowers, both in the domestic and international markets.

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 Introduction and development of new potential crops such as orchids, anthuriums, medicinal and aromatic plants, vanilla and import substitution crops like cocoa, oil palm and cashew.

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Production of hybrid vegetables and fruits to gear up production to meet the national per capita recommendation of fruits and vegetables as protective and nutritious foods. 

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Scope for establishment of processing and post harvesting units in and around production centres to prevent the losses that occur to the tune of around Rs.1,500 crores annually.

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Scope for introduction of different cropping systems to overcome endemic problems and regional cropping imbalances.

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 Scope for extensions of area under drip irrigation  for horticultural crops.

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Opportunities for conversion of waste lands into productive lands through dry land horticulture.

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 Scope for generating large surpluses of horticultural crops for the export market.

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Horticulture based exports have potential to become one of our major foreign exchange earners.

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Scope for developing value addition to horticulture like organically grown vegetables and fruits, cleaned and graded products, processed products  ready to serve horticulture food products, spice encapsulation, oleoresins, dry flowers, potpourris, etc.

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Potentiality to develop protected cultivation of flowers and vegetables like green house cultivation along with other necessary inputs.

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Scope for the horticulture sector to spearhead the economic development of the state.

 Threats

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Endemic pest and disease problems due to monocropping.

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Entry of multinational companies in horticulture sector.

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Vagaries of monsoon during the cropping seasons.

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Fragmentation of land holdings.

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Entry of middlemen and pre-harvest contractors at the time of marketing.

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Levy of tax on certain horticulture produce is exorbitant.

 

 Current Production Scenario

                                     Area          (In lakh ha)

                                             Production  (In lakh tons)

Crops

2008-09
Fruit crops  

Area

3.18

Production

55.34

 

 

Vegetable Crops

4.21

Area

67.57

Production

 

 

 

Spice crops

 

Area

2.43

Production

6.50

 

 

Plantation crops

 

Area

7.87

Production

4.77

 

 

Flower Crops

 

Area

0.27

Production

1.98
   
Medicinal & Aromatic Crops  

Area

0.04

Production

0.22
   

Total  Area

18.00

Production

136.38

 

Post harvest infrastructure and Management                                                                                                                    

               Since, fruits and vegetables are highly perishable, efficient Post Harvest Management has become an absolute necessity.  It is also important for effective exploitation of export potential of fruits and vegetables.

           In Karnataka, only 1% of the total production of fruits and vegetables are processed into different products.  About 25-30% of the produce is lost due to improper Post Harvest Management.  To avoid the Post Harvest Losses a chain of cold storages, processing and marketing facilities need to be created.  Among Post Harvest Management practices like pre cooling, cold storages and refrigerated transport are most important.

 1. Cold Storages

           The cold storage units provide a vital link between the production and marketing of Agricultural and  Horticultural produce.  It helps in storing the horticultural produce during glut and making them available in off season with least degradation in quality.

           At present there are 79 cold storage units with a total storage capacity of 2,67,421 MT, for handling fruits and vegetables.  Of these units, 5 are in the co-operative sector  68 are in the private sector and 6 are in the public sector.  The fruits and vegetables that are readily stored are Potato, Grapes, Tamarind, Citrus, Pomegranate, Pineapple, Chilli, Apple and cut flowers.

The existing cold storages in the state are facing the following problems:-

    1.     Low occupancy percentage

2.     High cost of electricity

3.     High rate of interest on loans

4.     Cold storages are not designed to store different commodities at different temperature relative humidity

    The State Government is providing a subventions of Rs.1/- per KWH of electricity consumed by cold storages in the horticulture sector.  Further, National Horticulture Board is providing a back ended subsidy of 25% (maximum of Rs.50 lakhs which ever is less) for construction/modernization of cold storage units.  Cold storages are classified  as Agro Food Processing Industry for providing incentives and concessions available to Agro Food Industry.

Processing of Fruits and Vegetables

        Government of Karnataka is considering fruit and vegetable processing sector as a thrust area for development.  With growing urbanization and increasing quality consciousness, the market for processed fruit and vegetable is expected to grow rapidly.  Therefore, there is enormous potential for developing agro products.

         At present there are 1533 licensed processing units in the State with annual production of 2.00 lakh tons of processed products. The processed fruits are Mango, Grapes, Pineapple, Papaya, Guava and others.  The major vegetables processed are Tomato, Potato, peas, Gherkins and others.

The processing sector is facing the problems as listed below:-

 1.     The fruit and vegetable processing industry is extremely decentralized, as number of processing units are in the cottage and small scale sectors.

2.     There is no continuous availability of raw materials throughout the year and due to varied agro-climatic conditions the availability of raw materials is concentrated in particular areas.  Further most of the products produced are consumed afresh  at market level.

3.     Inconvenience in marketing, transport and communication facilities are other factors which make the processing sector uncompetitive.

4.     Food industry is regarded as relatively small and less attractive because of high investment and less profit initially.

5.     The tax levels on the processed foods is very high.

6.     The financial institutions/Banks consider processing sector as high risk.  Hence, this sector is capital starved.

7.     There is a gap between research and extension.  Many of the commercial processing units are having their own research activities in food industry which remain confined to their own vicinity.

 To overcome these problems the following measures are taken.

1.          To overcome the problem of uncertainity in the supply of raw material, the companies have resorted to contract farming.  The Department is encouraging contract farming so that farmers would get a fair price and entrepreneurs would be assured of continuous supply of raw materials.  This is already in vogue in case of Gherkins.

2.          Agri Export Zones have been created in Karnataka. The concept of AEZ attempts to date a comprehensive look at a particular produce/produce located in a contiguous area for the purpose of leading to final exports.  Such Agri Export Zones have been created for Gherkins, Rose Onion and Floriculture.

3.          The Government of Karnataka proposes to establish Food and Agriculture Technology Parks (FATP) at 6 locations i.e. at Malur, Bagalkote, Belgaum , Chitradurga, Maddur and Jewargi.  Out of 6 Food and Agriculture Technology Parks  sanction has been given by Government of India for Food and Agriculture Technology Parks    at Malur and Bagalkote.  These Food and Agriculture Technology Parks   are established at a total cost of Rs.10 crores each.

 The main objective of establishing Food and Technology Parks   it to promote agro and processing industries in cluster in area where there is predominant production of processable agriculture and Horticulture Products.  These parks will also provide the required infrastructural and common facilities which are essential for sustenance of the industries.  Quality assurance laboratories, Ware housing including cold storages, common effluent treatment plants etc.  Another important aspect of the Food and Technology Parks  is creating awareness among the farmers and producers of Agriculture and Horticulture products about the advantages of cultivating/growing right variety of primary products which are amenable for processing and thus ensure that the twin objectives of assuring a better return to the farmers and assured supply of raw materials to the processors are achieved.  Development of Agro Food Parks is expected to give a boost to    the Horticultural sector in an around the area of Agro Parks.

4.          The Government is giving importance to marketing and processing of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops to avoid Post Harvest Losses.  The initiative of Government of Karnataka in this direction, has lead to establishment of a gigantic Horticultural Marketing Complex at Kannamangala by NDDB at a total cost of Rs.150 crores.  This complex is expected to become operational by the first quarter of 2003.  This facility is designed to handle 1600 MT of horticultural produce per day. Department of Horticulture has handed over 60 acres of land at Kannamangala for this purpose.  This terminal market complex will have modern, Auction Centre, refrigerated plant, storage facilities, 10,000 MT capacity cold storages, processing unit of 50,000 MT capacity, collection centres, wholesale shops, distribution centres and others. 

 5.  An exclusive Agro Food Industrial Policy for development of Agro Industries in the State is in offing.

Strategies for Development of Post Harvest Infrastructure and Management

1. Modernization of existing cold storages, by making provision for storing different commodities in multi chambered units at different temperature and  relative humidity conditions.

2.     The State Government is contemplating to have Horticultural Marketing Complex similar to Kannamangala at Hubli-Dharwad, Mysore and Bijapur.

3.     The Government has proposed to establish Agro Parks at Belgaum , Jewargi, Maddur and Chitradurga.

4.     Efforts are on to establish Agri Export Zones for Crops like Grapes, Mango, Pomegranate, Aromatic and Medicinal plants and Vanilla.

5.     The Department is conducting training programme on preservation and processing of fruits and vegetables to ladies and housewives in Bangalore .  The Department is planning to extend the same to other urban areas of the State.

6.     Training and educating the farmers in production of quality fruits, acceptable in International Markets for export purpose.  For this Department is planning to undertake awareness campaign, training programmes in association with APEDA.

          The State’s first ever Agro Food Industrial Policy, which cold revolutionaries              agriculture, as well as put fresh graded fruits and vegetables into the urban market              is expected to generate Rs.5,000 crores in foreign exchange over 3 years.  This              policy is in offing.

Marketing                                                                                              

      The Department of Horticulture acts as the facilitator for creation of infrastructure facilities for marketing of fruits and vegetables in the state. The Department of Agricultural Marketing is facilitating the  marketing of agricultural/horticultural produces in the state. The Department of Agricultural Marketing recently established ‘Raithra Santhe”  wherein the growers/farmers can bring their fruits and vegetables to the market and sell them directly to the growers .The Department of Agricultural Marketing is also handles the notified Fruits and Vegetables in  the state through APMC’S. The other marketing infrastructure in the state are

 1. The Department promoted  HOPCOMS – a Co-operative society for marketing of horticultural produce in Bangalore which handles a quantity of 100 Metric tones of fruits and vegetables  per day.

 2. The Department promoted District Horticultural Societies in all the Districts to market Fruits and Vegetables. At present 17 District Horticultural societies are functioning in the state.

 3. Karnataka Agro Industries Corporation – a State Agency is functioning for  marketing of flowers in Bangalore .

      The Department of Horticulture have initiated to modernize the fruits and vegetable market in the State through National Dairy Development Board in Bangalore , which will start functioning in Ist quarter of 2003 and expected to handle  around 30% of Fruits and Vegetables required for Bangalore .  The Department also initiates to start Modernized Fruits and Vegetable market  in Mysore ,   Hubli-Dharwar and Bijapur. The Marketing section of the Horticultural Department monitor the prices of important horticulture crops and  publish the prices book annually for the  use of departmental officers/officials and also submits the proposals to the Government whenever the prices of these commodities falls  in the market to intervene  and purchase of these commodities.

Exports                                                                                                    

The details of horticultural produces exported during 2008-09 from the state as follows

                                                          (Rs. in crores)

Coffee and its products

1579.05

Cashew and its products

638.48

Processed food

417.84

Spices and its products

479.25

Bangalore Rose Onion

65.00

Gherkins 244.50
Flowers 50.00
Pomegranate 20.00

Total

3494.12

   

     To boost the exports of horticultural produces from the state, to improve the export performance of the state, to provide opportunities to the farmers to earn incremental income, to promote on-farm and off-farm employment generating activities and to earn foreign exchange Agri Export zones were  created. Creation of Agri-Export Zones(AEZ) provides the development of all important infrastructure like Cold storage, pre-cooling houses, post harvest management centers, refrigerated transport besides Research and Human Resource Development. At present Gherkins, Bangalore Rose Onions, Vanilla and Floriculture were brought under these zones. Mango, Pomegranate and other  horticultural crops will also be brought under these zones shortly.

 Future Thrust                                                                                        

 Zone-specific cropping pattern in horticulture

 The area under horticultural crops is increasing at an annual growth rate of 4.5 per cent and production at a rate of 5.5 per cent in the state. It is proposed to increase the present trend under area expansion by 1 to 2 per cent annually. Emphasis has to be given to achieve higher production through encouragement for Zone wise area expansion of horticultural crops, increase in productivity, use of suitable high yielding varieties, use of improved cultural practices and irrigation systems, integrated pest management and improvement of quality of the produce. 

 Unlike field crops, all the horticultural crops cannot be grown in all the zones.  Their needs are specific with regard to agro-climatic requirement.  Each zone has its own characteristics.  Although the horticultural crops are being grown throughout the state covering all the zones, the production and productivity are not upto the potential.  Hence, there should be a policy to visualise the zone-specific cropping pattern in horticulture. 

 Strengthening of Domestic Marketing System through establishment of Modern Horticultural Markets

           Realising that, the efficient terminal markets would stimulate productivity, raise quality standards, reduce losses and ensure consumer access to an increased supply of fresh horticultural produce at reasonable prices, there is need for establishment of an alternate marketing in the state.

           The  National Diary Development Board with the active support from GOK is setting up a terminal market for fruits and vegetables at Bangalore for horticultural produce.  It is proposed to set up 3 or 4 more similar terminal markets in the state.  It is also envisaged to prepare a crop specific and location specific marketing plan. The government will encourage and promote contract farming in horticulture crops.  Government also proposes to provide minimum support price for horticultural crops in consultation with state agricultural price commission to encourage domestic marketing of horticultural produce.

 Promotion of Organic Cultivation of Horticultural Crops for export

 Organic Farming is a silent revolution in the making and is slated to be the next big boom for Karnataka after IT & BT. The Global market for organically grown fruits, vegetables, spices, aromatic and medicinal plants has been growing tremendously for the past 5 years. Karnataka with large extent of dry land where traditional ‘natural’ farming methods are still being followed, the conversion of these lands into organic farms is much easier. In light of the above, it is very much needed to tap export potential of organically grown horticulture produces by providing production and market linkages to organic cultivators

 Satellite mapping of Horticulture crops with the help of ISRO to develop a Horticultural Data Bank.

 Data base is essential  to take up developmental programmes. The data on area and production of Horticulture crops brought out by various departments/organizations do not match with each other. At the time of taking policy decision, the data base plays a crucial role. Therefore, the Department proposes to take up one time survey for perennial horticultural crops and also to use the services of ISRO to employ the latest and sophisticated methods to map the area under different Horticultural crops in the state. This would help in proper and real estimation of area under horticultural crops in the state. This would further lead to more scientific estimation of yield and production of Horticultural crops in the state

 Major initiative to conserve water for horticultural crops

 Keeping in view the limited availability of water and depletion of ground water levels, the use of water saving devices needs to be promoted to maximise overall irrigation potential.  The efficient and maximum utilisation of available water is possible through Micro-irrigation. The state Government intends to bring more horticultural area under Micro-irrigation. To meet the demand of farmers for adoption of Micro-irrigation system in their orchards, it is proposed to increase the flow of funds towards Micro-irrigation through diversion of funds from Minor Irrigation Department @ 10 per cent annually.  It is also envisaged  to encourage Rain water harvesting on farmers field by providing incentives.

 Dry land Horticulture

          Dry lands, in fact are the only hope of the future for feeding the fast increasing population. To improve the economic conditions of the people in the dry tracts and their nutrition and health standards, it is necessary to  encourage dry land horticulture through extension support for dry land orchards and support for development of new technologies for dry land horticulture through R&D. The state has given the highest priority for watershed management of farm areas and also tank development.