Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Shri
Radha Mohan Singh said research and development projects in horticulture crops
have yielded encouraging results, as a result, the production of horticulture
crops have been more than food grains irrespective of adverse climatic
conditions. After China, India is the second largest producer of
horticultural crops and fruits. The Agriculture Minister said it today at
the World Orange Day 2017 event in Nagpur.
Shri Singh said more than 9 crore metric ton of fruits
on 63 lakhs hectare land were produced during 2015-16. According to an
estimate, a production of 30 crore metric ton horticulture crops on 2.5 crore
hectare land is expected during 2016-17 in which contribution of fruit is
significant. The record achievement includes 42 million ton of fruit
production on 65 lakh hectare land. In terms of area in India, the citrus
fruits hold second position (10.37 lakh hectare) and third (12 million tonnes)
The Agriculture Minister said keeping in view the
importance of orchards in maintaining nutrient security, providing employment
and conserving the environment, Agriculture Ministry is implementing Mission
for Integrated Development of Horticulture across the nation. The School of
Horticultural Sciences department of Indian Council of Agricultural Research
(ICAR), along with its 23 institutes, 11 All India Coordinated Research
projects and 2 All India Network projects are providing necessary technical
cooperation and scientific research assistance to the horticulture mission.
Shri Singh said that Government established a Central
Citrus Research Institute (CCRI) in Nagpur in 1985 with an objective to develop
research and necessary techniques for citrus fruits and in 1986 it was upgraded
to National Research Centre for Citrus. He said that in 2014, the present
central government upgraded this centre to the central institute. A sub-centre
of the CCRI was established 42.4-acre land in 2017 in Biswanath Chariali in
Biswanath district of Assam with an objective to accelerate the research and
development work on citrus fruits in North Eastern states of the country.
Shri Singh said ICAR is implementing All India
Coordinated Fruits Crop Research Project in 10 centres of 8 states viz.
Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal
Pradesh and Karnataka. Keeping in view the needs of the specific area,
necessary research, technical training, and demonstration are being carried out
on citrus fruits. In the last 4 years, the Government has allocated a sum of
Rs.23 crore to these centres.
In addition to this, Government has allotted a sum of
Rs.13 crore and 68 lakh (Rs.2 crore and 73 lakh per year) only to the institute
situated in Nagpur during 12th Five year plan, which has been increased to
Rs.13.4 crore only within a span of 3 years from 2017, out of which Rs.3.25
crore has been allocated for the year 2017-18 which is 20% more as compared to
the last 5 years’ allocation.
The Agriculture Minister said that many ambitious
schemes are being implemented for the integrated development of horticultural
crops like informing the farmers of advanced production techniques, promoting
the processing and marketing of products to promote the export. For this, 2
clusters will be developed in Amravati and Nagpur.