Horticulture scheme underway in Udupi

Horticulture scheme underway in Udupi

The Comprehensive Horticulture Development Programme, a new initiative taken up by the government to boost horticulture activities is taking shape with an inclusive approach helping out farmers in the district.

The CHD programme as it is shortly called is on its way towards implementation and the department has taken up villages as cluster wise in the three taluks of the district. Jatkal and Amasebailu in Kundapur taluk, Edu and Shirlal in Karkala taluk and Mattu, Shankarpura and Shirva villages of Udupi taluk have been chosen for the three-year programme.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, District Horticulture Department Deputy Director Sanjay A B said the main objective behind the programme is to identify the farmers and make groups for the crop scheme period. As many as six clusters have been identified in the district. The farmers are identified in the targeted villages, he said.

Shankarpura and Shirva villages in Udupi taluk are identified under single cluster. The horticulture crops proposed to cultivate in these clusters include cashew in Amasebailu, Kerala Banana in Jatkal, Udupi Mallige in Shankarpura/Shirva, Mattugulla in Mattu, Cocoa in Edu and black pepper in Shirlal.

The official said the Horticulture department will give planting and marketing assistance to the farmers. Except for Mattugulla, remaining all are perennial crops and is considered under three-year programme of the project.

Mattugulla is cultivated under one-year programme. Farmers are given financial assistance for installation of drip irrigation, planting and other intercultivating activities.

“Initially a sum of Rs two lakh will be given as revolving fund. The amount will be in the joint account of group president and the department official. The subsidy amount will be given once the planting of the crop takes place. Till then the farmers can make use of revolving fund. They should remit the amount taken from the revolving fund once the subsidy is released,” he said.

The subsidy amount differs for different crops. Fifty per cent of the total subsidy is given to the farmers in the first year itself. The remaining 50 per cent of the subsidy is given as 25 per cent each, for the following two years.

Besides, the department will assist the farmers for water conservation structures, vermi compost and bio digester unit. The subsidy amount can be used for plant cost and inputs, fertilizers, planting and also insecticides.

The Department also helps the farmers to market the grown horticulture products in a radius of 10 to 20 kms. Deputy Director said that the department creates marketing channel.  Outsourcing is done for technical staffs. Each cluster will be assisted by a farm facilitator and there will be a subject matter specialist for each taluk who happens to be an agriculture or horticulture graduate, he added.

The area covered for each crop may vary according to field situation. However, the targeted amount of land as estimated by the department for each crop include  as many as 5 hectares for Udupi Mallige, 10 hectares for Mattugulla and 30 hectares each for all other remaining horticulture crops that are planned to be grown in the clusters of the district.

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