The Chief Minister’s Horticulture Development Mission has been announced as an important step with a concrete result-oriented plan to increase the coverage of horticulture as well as medicinal crops from the holistic development of the agriculture and horticulture sector by making a historic decision to increase the cultivable land of the state. The main objective of this ‘CM Horticulture Development Mission’ is to generate more income from the cultivation of horticultural and medicinal crops by allocating to them and to increase the export-export ratio and create new employment opportunities through the valuation of such crop products.
Announcing the mission, Chief Minister Vijaybhai Rupani further said that agricultural development in the state is a challenge due to arid and semi-arid as well as coastal salinity areas. However, with its outstanding ability to turn disaster into opportunity, the government, Kisan Suryodaya Yojana Mukhyamantri Pak Sangraha Yojana has made Gujarat a leader in the country in terms of agricultural growth rate. He said that out of 18 lakh hectares of land in the state, 50% i.e. 3 lakh hectares of land is under cultivation as well as horticultural and medicinal lands in fallow and non-fertile lands. There is ample potential for the cultivation of crops. In the year 2017-20, Gujarat has contributed about 3.20 percent of the total production of fruits and vegetables in the country with the planting of fruits and vegetables in 3.8 lakh hectares and production of 82.71 lakh metric tonnes.
The Minister added that the total cultivation of crops in Gujarat is gradually increasing by about 20,000 hectares. Especially areas of North Gujarat and Kutch have emerged as hubs of crops like pomegranate, guava, kharek, papaya. As a result of the state government’s promotion of agricultural technology, irrigation facilities, and farmer-friendly policies, even arid, semi-arid, or saline areas have become greener with agricultural production, he added.
Vijaybhai Rupani particularly mentioned that as a result of the success of irrigation schemes in Kutch, Banaskantha, Patan, Sabarkantha, and Surendranagar districts of the state, even the non-fertile lands of these areas have been converted into fruit orchards with the use of modern technology. The Chief Minister has taken the initiative of the Chief Minister’s Horticulture Development Mission to regenerate the non-fertile barren wasteland government lands in these districts with the help of state-of-the-art technology through horticultural medicinal crop enrichment and double the income of farmers.
The first phase of the CM Horticulture Development Mission will be implemented in five districts of the state – Kutch, Surendranagar, Patan, Banaskantha, and Sabarkantha, he said.
Pursuant to this mission, approximately 20,000 hectares of non-fertile government fallow land in the State for horticultural and medicinal crops will be allotted on a lease basis for a period of 40 years only for the cultivation of such crops. Proper use will encourage the expansion of the cultivation of fruits, flowers, vegetables, spices, and medicinal crops. Not only that, the contribution of Gujarat’s agricultural sector to the country’s GDP will be at the forefront as new employment opportunities arise by increasing the state’s agricultural production and income.