The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to set up excellence centers and mini excellence centers/ hi-tech nurseries in all 75 districts in the next five years to boost the horticulture and food processing industry in the state.
According to an official spokesman, hi-tech nurseries set up by the government at Bahraich, Ambedkar Nagar, Mau, Fatehpur, Aligarh, Rampur, and Hapur have already become operational while centers of excellence are under construction in Chandauli, Kaushambhi, Saharanpur, Lucknow, Kushinagar, and Hapur.
The Indo-Israel Centre for Excellence has been established in Basti and Kannauj for fruits and vegetables respectively so that farmers can get quality seedlings.
Furthermore, mini centers of excellence/hi-tech nurseries are under construction at Sonbhadra, Moradabad, Agra, Sant Kabir Nagar, Mahoba, Jhansi, Barabanki, Lucknow, Chandauli, Gonda, Balrampur, Badaun, Firozabad, Shamli, and Mirzapur.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has set ambitious targets to increase the area of cultivation of horticultural crops from 11.6 percent to 16 percent and food processing units from 6 percent to a whopping 20 percent during the period in order to enhance the overall yield as well as the processing of fruits, vegetables, and spices.
The government seeks to grow quality saplings and seeds at the excellence centers as well as hi-tech nurseries to increase the production of quality crops.
The objective behind the government’s move is also to provide sufficient crops for the increasing number of food processing industries.
It is worth mentioning here that Uttar Pradesh has witnessed an increase of 0.7 percent in the production of fruits and vegetables in the last five years due to the expansion of its cultivation in an additional 1.01 lakh hectares.
The Yogi Adityanath government is also promoting protected farming through Indo-Israel technology to grow off-season vegetables.
In the last five years, poly houses/shed nets have been expanded to 177 hectares to enhance the yield of flowers and vegetables, benefiting 5,549 farmers.
Dr. S.P. Singh, a vegetable scientist, said that the most marginal farmers’ effective way to increase their income in Uttar Pradesh is through the cultivation of all kinds of fruits, vegetables, and spices as the state is endowed with nine types of agro-climatic zones.
Singh said that small and marginal farmers, who constitute 90 percent of the total number of farmers, can play important role in this by growing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and flowers in suitable climates.
He said most of these farmers are at present engaged in the cultivation of traditional crops like paddy, wheat, and sugarcane and they need to be encouraged to grow fruits, vegetables, and flowers for greater financial benefits.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with minor edits to conform to the HinduPost style guide)