Expansion of area under cultivation of horticultural crops and rejuvenation of crops through modernised cultivation techniques in the existing areas are some of the important components under the National Horticulture Mission being implemented in the district. A sum of Rs.3.91crore has been sanctioned to give an impetus to the development and rejuvenation of horticultural cultivation .

An additional extent of 2,525 hectares will be brought under various horticultural crops – 1,000 hectares under banana, 400 hectares in cashew, 300 hectares in mango, floriculture and chillies each and 225 hectares in cocoa. This apart, rejuvenation of the existing area will also be taken up on these crops.

A sum of Rs.1.68 crore will be spent for developing banana crop, Rs.81 lakh for floriculture, Rs.48 lakh for cashew, Rs.37 lakh for chillies, Rs.29.70 lakh for mango, Rs.27 lakh for cocoa, sources told The Hindu here on Monday.

Subsidy

The per hectare subsidy will be Rs.12,000 for cashew and Rs.10,000 for mango. Mango and cashew grafts would be supplied along with vermin-compost, chemical fertilizers and plant protection chemicals to the farmers. Supply of grafts during the second and third years with a view to ensuring sustained expansion was the highlight of the programme.

Closer planting is another advantage . The per hectare planting will be 400 grafts for mangoes and 500 grafts for cashew.

The NHM also focuses on rejuvenation of the existing orchards, sources said. The per hectare planting will be 50 grafts in mango orchards and 100 grafts for cashew orchards. “The grafts are being planted as a space filling programme, taking advantage of the available space in the mango orchards and cashew groves”, sources said.

The prospects of the district for raising floriculture would also be fully utilised under the NHM. Flowers like jasmine, tuberose, rose and marigold are cultivated in the district. The NHM would encourage the floriculturists with a special per hectare subsidy component of Rs.3,000 for maintenance of tuberose fields and Rs.2,000 for other flowers. The per hectare subsidy for chilly growers will be Rs.12,500.

Sources are confident that the implementation of the National Horticulture Mission would give an impetus to the cultivation of horticultural crops in the district.