Haryana,December 6- A new scheme known as Vegetable Initiative for Urban Clusters (VIUC) has been launched in Haryana to increase vegetable production and productivity and marketing of produce through farmers’ groups.
While stating this here today, a spokesman of Haryana Horticulture Department said that the scheme has been implemented during the current financial year and the Government has allocated Rs 12 crore for this year to implement it under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna. With focus on cluster vegetable production, the scheme would set in motion a virtuous cycle of production and income for the farmers and assured supply to consumers.
He said that to begin with, this scheme would be launched in Gurgaon and 11 districts of the State having predominantly vegetable growing clusters. These districts are Gurgaon, Mewat, Rewari, Palwal, Faridabad, Jhajjar, Sonepat, Panipat, Rohtak, Karnal and Kurukshetra. In the second phase some more districts would be included to widen the scope of this scheme. The main activities that would be taken up under this scheme included formation of farmers’ groups, providing assistance for growing vegetables of hybrid and open pollinated crops in open as well as under poly houses and providing assistance for all the inputs only through the farmers groups or association.
Under this scheme, 250 groups of farmers having clusters of 15-20 members have already been formed. Two vegetable seedling productions centers that is one at Rohtak and other at Gurgaon are being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs. 2. 08 crore to supply good and disease free hybrid vegetable seedlings to the farmers at 50 per cent assistance. Similarly, there is a provision of over Rs. 2.36 lakh to give subsidy on construction of polygreen houses at a rate of 65 per cent up to a maximum of 4000 square meter per farmer.
Farmers’ associations will also be given assistance for cultivation of vegetables in open pollinated crops as well as for hybrid vegetable for 600 and 500 hectares respectively. For this purpose over Rs 3. 03 crore have been provided. A sum of Rs 22 lakh has been provided to give assistance for an area of 2200 hectares for integrated nutrition and pest management at a rate of Rs. 1000 per hectare. Similarly, Rs. 45 lakh have been provided for training of 2000 farmers within and outside the State. A sum of Rs. 27.40 lakh has been provided to set up 52 low cost onion structures at a rate of Rs 50,000 each and 70 Pusa Zero Energy cool chambers at a rate of Rs. 2000 each. For marketing, Rs. 2.30 crore have been provided to assist for five retail markets at a rate of 40 per cent subsidy that is Rs four lakh each. Assistance will also be provided for setting up of 50 collection centers at a rate of 50 per cent subsidy that is Rs four lakh each.
Base line survey has been conducted to identify the potential cluster of vegetables and on the basis of which farmers shall be encouraged to form groups. The Horticulture Department has already given wide publicity to this scheme and has given an advertisement inviting farmers to form groups and around 250 farmers groups have already been formed.
Under this scheme, for supply of fresh vegetable in urban areas, the Department is lunching motorized and non-motorized vegetable carts equipped with cooling technology to increase the self-life of vegetables as these will remain cool and fresh for a long period. These vending carts will be supplied to local Vender and Farmers Interest Group on 50 per cent subsidy. The balance amount would be financed through banks and their share can be recovered in installments. This will help the farmers’ groups to sell their produce directly to consumers and they would get good profit. Therefore, a provision has been made for distribution of 50 mobile vending carts at a rate of 50 per cent subsidy that is Rs.15,000 each and five motorized vending carts at a rate of 50 per cent subsidy that is Rs. 50,000 each.
This scheme shall give boost to the vegetable sector in the State and also help farmers to have better sale realization through direct marketing of their produce.