New excellence centres & hi-tech nurseries to boost horticulture in UP
Soon, the people of Uttar Pradesh will be able to reap benefits from multiple excellence centres, mini excellence centres and hi-tech nurseries, across the state. As per reports, such centres and hi-tech nurseries will be established in each of the 75 districts across the state.
To be set up under the ambit of this initiative, the centre of excellence in Lucknow is currently under construction. Notably, this move is aimed to boost the horticulture and food processing industry in UP in the next five years.
An attempt to increase farmers' income
Around 90% of the farmers in Uttar Pradesh can be termed as small and marginal level workers. According to vegetable scientist Dr. S.P. Singh, the most effective way to increase farmers' income in the state is by helping them cultivate different kinds of fruits, vegetables and spices.
While most small and marginal farmers are currently engaged in cultivating traditional crops like sugarcane, paddy and wheat, there is a need to motivate them to move to these alternatives instead. There is a need to spread awareness about the financial benefits of growing fruits, vegetables and flowers to these farmers, added Dr. Singh.
Indo-Israel Centre for Excellence
According to officials, hi-tech nurseries set up by the government at Bahraich, Ambedkar Nagar, Mau, Fatehpur, Aligarh, Rampur and Hapur have already become operational. However, the centres of excellence are under construction in Chandauli, Kaushambhi, Saharanpur, Lucknow, Kushinagar and Hapur.
To ensure farmers get quality seedlings, the administration has established an Indo-Israel Centre for Excellence in Basti and Kannauj for fruits and vegetables, respectively. By deploying the Indo-Israel technology, the administration is also aiming to promote protected farming by growing off-season vegetables.
In addition to this, mini centres of excellence/hi-tech nurseries are currently under construction at Sonbhadra, Moradabad, Agra, Sant Kabir Nagar, Mahoba, Jhansi, Barabanki, Lucknow, Chandauli, Gonda, Balrampur, Badaun, Firozabad, Shamli and Mirzapur.
Increasing production of quality crops in UP
Apart from boosting horticulture, this move is aimed to provide sufficient crops for the increasing number of food processing industries. Moreover, to increase the production of quality crops in the state, the administration seeks to grow high-quality seeds and saplings at the upcoming centres.
In the last five years, UP has reported a 0.7% hike in the production of fruits and vegetables. The administration aims to increase the area of cultivation of horticultural crops from 11.6% to 16% and food processing units from 6% to a whopping 20%. This ambitious target will in turn increase the overall yield and processing of fruits, vegetables and spices in the state.
-with inputs from IANS