The Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme introduced for the holistic growth of the horticulture sector with six (6) sub-schemes, out of which Sub-Scheme HMNEH is implemented by the Department of Horticulture. The Objectives of the MIDH are:
There is no denying of the fact that the HMNEH/MIDH scheme since its inception in 2001-02 has been one of the most successful schemes to be implemented in the State, as it was through the intervention of this Scheme that the State’s horticulture sector had seen an astonishing evolvement from being a backyard activity to one of the highest revenue earning enterprise. Success stories of different farmers/entrepreneurs stand witness to the fact as to how, the Scheme has indeed brought about a holistic growth in the Horticulture Sector of the State.
For the first time in the history of MIDH, the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, with a view to augment production and volume had zoned out specific crops for all the MIDH implementing States for incorporating under area expansion component for 2017-18. Thus, the State was given only Passion fruit under Fruits, Large Cardamom and Naga Chilli under Spices and Vegetables to be taken up under area expansion by the Ministry, which was a challenge for the Department given the varied agro-climatic zones of the State and the need to meet the demands and aspirations of all sections of farmers. However, the Department went ahead on meeting the challenge and ensured that all the Districts of the State got at least one or the other crop so that none of the Districts were deprived of the benefits of Area Expansion.
The amount allocated to the Department under MIDH 2017-18 was ₹ 3500.00 Lakhs, out of which ₹ 3134.00 Lakhs has been released so far in two installments as the 90% Central Government Share and the Matching State Share of 10% for both installments is expected to be released shortly by the State Government. From the amount received so far, the Department had prioritized and taken up the following activities:
Seed/planting material is a vital input in crop production; it is the cheapest input in crop production yet, holds the key to horticulture progress. Crop status largely depends on the quality of seed/planting materials used for sowing/planting. Therefore, keeping the challenge to meet the targets of augmenting production and volume of various crops set by the Ministry in mind, the Department has successfully taken up the establishment of 1 unit of Small Nursery for Passion fruit seedlings under the Private Sector at Mokokchung which with an amount of ₹ 7.50 Lakhs inclusive of the State share, which is expected to meet the demand for quality planting materials for Passion fruit – the sole fruit crop allotted to the State under Area Expansion by the Ministry.
In addition and works are underway for the upgradation of Nursery Infrastructures in the Department-Owned Farm at Wokha under the Public Sector with an amount of ₹ 10.00 Lakhs inclusive of the State share. The Objective of which is to meet the accreditation norms to enable the accreditation of the Departmental Farm in line with the Directive of the Ministry.
The Area expansion programme under MIDH is largely based on crop-zoning where the potentiality of a specific crop to a certain agro-climatic zone is kept in mind for commercial production and is in concurrence to meeting its core activities of area expansion and enhancement of production and productivity of crops so as to double the production of Crops.
However, as stated earlier, only Passion fruit, Large Cardamom, Naga Mircha and Vegetables were allocated to the State under area expansion by the Ministry. Therefore, out of the three Crops viz. Passion fruit, Large Cardamom and Naga Mircha, each District was given only Specific Crops keeping the potentiality of the Districts in Mind.
For Vegetables, the existing vegetable villages covering all the Districts were targeted to encourage vegetable production and also enhance nutritional security. An area of 2480 Ha was covered under area expansion of the above crops with a total amount of ₹ 705.00 Lakhs. The Department hopes that with these interventions, the production of the above crops can be increased and bring about a revolution in the Demand-supply chain where State can have exportable surplus thus doubling the farmers’ income by 2022 in line with the vision of our Honb’le Prime Minister.
Nagaland has witnessed a tremendous increase in the production of horticultural crops especially fruits since the inception of HMNEH/MIDH Scheme, thanks to the specialized scientific interventions and application of latest tools and implements. The State is now well known for its horticultural produces across the country. However, the productivity has still remained low as against area under the fruit cultivation. Several neglecting issues related to the production technology have remained unattended so far. The old and senile orchards are now reverting towards a declining trend of production because of plant age factor, non-compatible varieties and poor canopy management, which is a matter of serious concern. Thus, there is a need to rejuvenate these old and senile orchards for improving their productivity. Therefore, with this in mind, the Department had carried out the rejuvenation of 115 Ha of Citrus with an amount of ₹ 23.00 Lakhs.
Horticulture has become a key driver for economic development in the State but one of the constraints is availability of planting material, poor yields and low productivity, wider year to year fluctuations and poor quality of produce. In addition to these factors, the increasing population, climate change, decreasing land holdings, increasing pressure on natural resources i.e. land & water and high demand of quality horticultural fresh produce now poses a challenge for the State in terms of meeting the Demand-Supply Chain, which can only be met if we shift towards modern technologies of crop production like protected cultivation. Production of vegetable and cut flower crops under protected conditions not only provides high water and nutrient use efficiency but it can easily increase the productivity by 3-5 folds over open field cultivation of these crops under varied agro climatic conditions of the country. This technology has very good potential especially in urban and peri-urban areas adjoining to the major cities which is a fast growing market for fresh produce of the country. In addition, promotion of protected cultivation will certainly help in creation of huge self-employments for unemployed educated youths and will also raise the State’s economy by sale of high quality produce in domestic and international markets. With this in mind, the Department has proposed the cultivation of protected cultivation of Flowers and vegetables during 2017-18 covering an area of 65000 sqm for flowers like Orchid, Gerbera, Rose, Lilium, Alstroemeria and vegetables with a total amount of ₹ 561.53 Lakhs.
One of the most important challenges faced by our State today is the conservation or sustainment of natural resources, including soil and water, for increasing food production while protecting the environment. With the increase in the population of the State, there is an exponential increase in the stress on natural resources making it a challenge to maintain food and nutritional security. To cope with these challenges, it is imperative to maintain a balance between increasing crop production, maintaining soil health as well as environmental sustainability, which can be achieved through Integrated Nutrient Management practices. Integrated Nutrient Management is an essential step to address the twin concerns of nutrient excess and nutrient depletion and is important in terms of the fact that the State is by and large default-organic in nature which leaves little room for use of chemical fertilizers and also the fact that majority of the farmers are small and marginal farmers who cannot afford to supply crop nutrients due to high cost of fertilizers.
Pathogens, insects, weeds, and other pests cause significant crop losses which presents a barrier to the achievement of food security and poverty reduction. Estimates of the scale of these losses vary by context and scope. Viewed in terms of food security, crops losses to pests may represent the equivalent of food required to feed over 1 billion people. However, the use of synthetic pesticides presents additional challenges and it is now clear that alternative methods need to be applied, which reduce pest damage while avoiding the cost and negative outcomes associated with synthetic pesticides. IPM incorporates the simultaneous management and integration of tactics, the regular monitoring of pests and natural enemies, the use of thresholds for decisions, and spans methods from pesticide product management/substitution to whole agro-ecosystem redesign. Consequent reduction in the use of synthetic pesticides improves on- and off-farm sustainability, as well as reducing costs to the farmer.
Therefore, keeping the above in mind, the Department has during 2017-18 covered 1595 Ha under INM/IPM with an amount of ₹ 38.28 Lakhs.
Horticultural crops like fruits and vegetables suffer from both quantitative and qualitative losses between harvest and consumption. Post-harvest losses vary greatly across commodity types, with production areas and the season of production. Overall, about one third of horticultural crops produced are never consumed by humans. Reduction of post-harvest losses can increase food availability to the growing population, decrease the area needed for production, and conserve natural resources. Thus, Proper Post Harvest Management is very important in the Horticulture sector especially in our State where productivity is much below than other States and there is a constant struggle to meet the demand-supply chain.
In addition, Marketing is an important aspect in horticultural production that determines the profit or loss statement of the farmers. Farmers with huge volume of produces may incur losses if there was no access to markets while farmers with less volume of produces may profit with proper access to markets. Thus, availability of markets for the producers is of paramount importance in the Horticulture sector.
Therefore, understanding the need to strengthen the post harvest management as well as the marketing scenario in the State, during 2017-18 the Department has taken up the construction of 220 units of functional Pack houses covering all the Districts, 1 unit of Integrated Pack House at Mokokchung, 210 units of Low Energy Cool Chamber and 88 units of low cost preservation unit in all the Districts with a total earmarked amount of ₹ 1078.00 Lakhs. While in the marketing sector, 11units of Rural Markets were constructed across the State and 1 no of Collection, Sorting/Grading Packing unit was taken up in Wokha with an earmarked amount of ₹ 159.00 Lakhs.
Horticulture is a diverse industry covering a wide range of job roles. Significant returns can be derived when training is well-designed, expertly delivered, when the transfer and acquisition of skills and knowledge is facilitated and when organisations employ the new skills and knowledge productively. It has been the vision of our Honb’le Prime Minister to develop a Skilled India which aim to train over 40 crore people in India in different skills by 2022. Thus Human Resource Development is an important aspect towards achieving this vision.
Therefore, with the objective of achieving this vision, the Department had during 2017-18 earmarked an amount of ₹ 102.19 Lakhs under Human Resource Development for imparting trainings of farmers, entrepreneurs and Officials, exposure tours to various progressive States for the farmers, entrepreneurs and Officials. Mention may be made that the Department had conducted exposure tour of spice farmers from Wokha to Sikkim in August 2017, Study tour of Chakhroma Angami Farmers Association to Shimla in the Month of September 2017 and Exposure visit and study tour of farmers from Kohima village to Bengaleru in the Month of January 2018 under Human Resource Development. In addition, the Department was also a part of the delegates at Biofach 2017, China
The success of horticulture lies in the correct dissemination and transmission of information regarding the scientific package of practices and innovations to the farmers in the form of folders, brouchers and other publications which plays a pivotal role.
In addition, there is a need to bridge the gap between the farmers and the Department regarding the various schemes being implemented by the Department and highlight the achievements as well as update the farmers of the Departmental Activities. This is where Information and publicity can play a key role in achieving this objectives and goals. Information and Publicity is very important in the horticulture sector to achieve its objectives and goals.
Thus, keeping the role played by the Information and publicity sector in mind, the Department has during 2017-18 earmarked an amount of ₹ 30.00 Lakhs under Information and Publicity and Development of Technology packages in electronic form and one of the major highlights of this programme was the publication of a “Farmers Friendly Handbook” in different local dialects and the Package of practices for Indigenous crops like Naga Pineapple, Naga Cucumber and Naga Mircha.
The Department of Horticulture has been acknowledged throughout the country for its strong presence and has been invited to participate in a number of International and National events across the country as well as outside India too. This is a matter of great pride for the State and is an advantage for the farmers of the State, as it is through these events that various multinational and renowned national firms are given a glimpse into the rich horticultural bio-diversity of the State through the wide array of horticultural produces and products put up on display in such events.
During 2017-18, an amount of ₹ 95.00 Lakhs was earmarked under Seminar, Conference, Workshops & Exhibitions at National, State and District Level. Some of the major highlights under this programme was the successfully conduct of the State Level “Naga Pineapple Festival” w.e.f 8th to 9th Aug 2017 at Agri-Expo Site, Dimapur which captured the true essence of the famous “Naga Pineapple” and showcased it to the outside world. The Department also participated in the World Food Expo at India Gate, New Delhi w.e.f. 3rd to 5th November 2017 as well as the North East Indian-Bangladesh EXIM conclave on 15th Nov 2017 at Dhaka, Bangladesh where the State showcased its rich horticultural resources and a number of multinational companies has expressed interest in procuring Pineapple, Passion fruit, Kiwi etc for export purpose.
In addition, the Department has been one of the main participating Departments in the Annual Hornbill Festival 2017 where the Department put out an attractive show case of a myriad of horticultural produces and products from the State and was rewarded with a visit from His Excellency, Shri. Ram Nath Govind, the Honb’le President of India at the Hortiscape on 1st Dec 2017 during his recent visit to the State for the Annual Hornbill Festival, which created a history of sorts. Besides, the Department also sponsored the Famous “Naga Chilli Eating Competition” as well as “Naga Pineapple eating Competition “during the Annual Hornbill Festival which was one of the main attractions of the Annual Hornbill Festival, 2017.