Shri Radha Mohan Singh Releases Horticultural Statistics

Shri Radha Mohan Singh Releases Horticultural Statistics 
In order to provide detailed information on horticulture crops, Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister, Sh Radha Mohan Singh released “Horticultural Statistics at a Glance – 2015” brought out by Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare first time here today. 

This publication presents a comprehensive picture of the Indian horticulture sector by using statistical data across states, districts and time periods, covering diverse aspects such as area, production, productivity, growth trends, percentage share, value of output and so on for major horticultural crops. Other aspects covered are outlays and expenditure under horticultural activities; monthly series of prices and arrivals over past year in respect of onion, potato and tomato; inputs for horticultural crops; exports and imports; infrastructure availability; India’s position in world scenario of horticulture production and so on.

Releasing the first issue of statistics the publication on horticulture, Shri Radha Mohan Singh said the data will help policy planners, farmers and other stake holders..He has said that horticulture sector has been gaining prominence during the past few years. To strengthen and develop timely and reliabile database the Government has taken a number of steps.

Following are the recent initiatives taken by the Government to promote the horticulture sector: Launched a Programme in September, 2014 called Coordinated Programme on Horticulture Assessment and MAnagement using geoiNformatics (CHAMAN) under which scientific methodologies of Remote Sensing and Sample Survey is being used for assessment of area and production of major horticulture crops. During the first year, i.e. 2013-14, MNCFC has completed the data collection, field work and analysis and have provided estimates through Remote Sensing technology for Onion, Potato, Tomato and Chilli for limited districts in major producing states. IASRI has completed the preliminary activities required for conducting the field work during 2013-14 and have provided training to Field Investigators in 4 out of Six states where the field work has started. The estimates, using Sample Survey methodology, would come only after completion of one year, i.e. by the end of 2015-16,.

Launched a Programme called Horticulture Area and Production Information System (HAPIS) in February, 2015. This is a web portal for online submission of district level data pertaining to area and production of horticulture crops. Four trainings have been provided to all the States through video conferencing and 25 States have started submitting District level data regarding Area and production online through HAPIS.

In order to provide impetus to the horticulture sector, several initiatives have been taken by the Government. The Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, is being implemented during XII Plan, through six sub-schemes, viz. NHM, HMNEH, NBM, NHB, CDB and CIH, with distinct budget provision, mandate and area of operation. The interventions under MIDH attempts to ensure an end to end approach for production of quality seeds and planting material, taking up production and productivity improvement activities, creation of post harvest management and cold chain infrastructure for reducing post harvest losses, creation of market infrastructure including markets etc. for better price realization, capacity building of farmers and field staff through training programmes and promotion of Farmer Producer Organizations for strengthening farmer groups. 

Shri Radha Mohan Singh Requests Uttar Pradesh to speed up Soil Health Card Scheme 
Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Minister, Sh Radha Mohan Singh has requested Uttar Pradesh Government to speed up Soil Health Card Scheme and has urged the Chief Minister of the state to monitor the programme at highest level so that it can get deserved priority.

In a letter written to Chief Minister of UP, Shri Radha Mohan Singh has said that Soil Health is one of the most important aspects of agriculture and deterioration in the health of soil adversely affects the productivity in the long run. The Government has been paying lot of emphasis on improving the health of soil by integrated nutrient management. The Government has also announced a programme of collection of soil samples, conduct analysis and issue of Soil Health Card in a time bound manner. When the scheme was announced in 19th February, 2015 it was envisaged that the soil samples from 47.70 lakh farmers will be collected over a period of three years and Soil Health Cards will be issued to them after testing of these samples. On 10th September, 2015 it was decided by the Government that this important task should be completed in two years instead of three years. Accordingly a request was made to State Government of UP vide letters dated 14th & 17th September, 2015 for increasing the target of issue of Soil Health Card in 2015-16 from 15.90 lakh to 18 lakh. Similarly, for 2016-17 UP’s target was increased from 15.90 lakh to 29.70 lakh.

He has said that a review of the performance of various State Governments shows that UP has not been performing to its potential. Till 9th December, 2015 against a target of 18 lakh samples, only 4.68 lakh samples have been collected and only 22,894 samples have been analyzed.

Shri Radha Mohan Singh has said that soil health is one of the most important issues in agriculture especially in irrigated areas where extensive use of urea has resulted in deterioration in soil health, leaching and vitalization. In view of this, it is requested that you may kindly monitor this programme at your level so that the targets fixed for UP are achieved and the programme gets priority it deserves. 

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