Subsidies reach farmers through various schemes such as IHDS and NADP

The State and Central government subsidies are encouraging a large number of farmers to take up horticulture.

The subsidies are provided through schemes such as Integrated Horticulture Development Scheme (IHDS), National Agriculture Development Programme (NADP), National Horticulture Mission (NHM), National Mission on Micro Irrigation (NMMI), National Mission on Medicinal Plants (NMMP), and National Bamboo Mission (NBM).

The subsidies range from 50 per cent to 100 per cent, making horticulture lucrative. A total of 25,000 hectares of land is used for horticulture in Tiruchi district, according to the Horticulture Department sources. The fruit, flower, and vegetable varieties include banana, mango, guava, tapioca, onion, brinjal, tomato, tube rose, chrysanthemum, and rose.

“The expenditure I incur for cultivating my crop is Rs. 48,000 and I receive half of the amount through government subsidy. The gains are immense and I am happy to be pursuing horticulture,” says N. Kannan, a farmer who cultivates high-density mango crops in one hectare land at Tiruvellarai in Manachanallur block.

He is one of the several farmers (more than 1,000) who have been allocated Rs. 15 lakh this year by the government for practising horticulture under IHDS. Around 750 hectares of land is used for horticulture by these farmers.

R. Lakshmi of Pagalavadi in Thuraiyur block is another farmer who is delighted to cultivate horticultural crops. She cultivates ixora flower (viruchi poo) on one hectare of land. Her cost incurred is Rs. 83,258 and she receives Rs. 52,564 in the form of material subsidies. “I can sell one kg of flowers for a price that ranges from Rs. 50 to Rs. 200,” she says.

Horticulture officials say a large number of farmers in Manachanallur, Thuraiyur, and Uppiliapuram blocks are migrating from agriculture to horticulture as they have realised the benefits of subsidies under government schemes and the profitability of horticulture.