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Dharapuram identified as peripheral-urban horticulture hub

R. Vimal Kumar

Source: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/article3801433.ece

Area coverage and productivity of vegetables in Dharapuram block is set to witness an exponential increase during the current fiscal with the block being identified as a peripheral-urban horticulture hub under a government-sponsored initiative to supply vegetables to urban population in metros.

In the case of Dharapuram, the urban population to be catered to will be those in Coimbatore since it is the nearest city from the region.

The scheme, conceptualised under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana, will be implemented through a multi-prong strategy addressing all concerns related to both the demand and supply sides of the vegetable sector in the selected city.

“We will be first taking a baseline survey to assess the vegetable supply chains still extant, identify the bottlenecks in it and evaluate the potential untapped so that the production and supply can be raised to the desired levels effortlessly,” S. Krishnakumar, assistant director of horticulture, told The Hindu .

To increase the production levels, the Horticulture Department officials will be organising the vegetable growers in the block into farmers’ associations/groups and then, they will be provided with improved varieties of seeds and latest cultivation technologies in coordination with Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and other research bodies.

“We are envisaging an overall increase in area coverage of around 340 ha for onion, tomato and chilly crops during the process,” Mr. Krishnakumar said.

The issues in the credit supply chain will be addressed with the help of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development.

“The scheme is going to provide a win-win situation for urban consumers and farmers as the end-users are going to get a constant supply of good quality vegetables at affordable prices and nutritional security whereas the farmers will get good returns through an assured supply chain to the city catered to,” the Horticulture Department officials said.

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