The ZP initiative aims at promoting horticulture in a big way
Stating that many farmers were suffering losses due to lack of proper cold storage facility after the harvest, zilla panchayat chief executive officer N. Jayaram has said that plans were afoot to set up processing units in each hobli of the district.
Speaking after inaugurating a seminar on “Horticulture produces”, jointly organised by the Institute of Agriculture Technologies (IAT) and Agriculture Research Institute, Babbur, here on Tuesday, he said that horticulture crop was cultivated on 1.11 lakh hectares of the district. Of this, coconut was a major crop in Hosadurga, Hiriyur and Holalkere taluks.
“Despite producing a large quantity of coconut, the district is facing acute shortage of processing units to preserve it for a longer duration,” he said.
In order to enable the coconut growers earn more profit, the zilla panchayata had planned to set up processing units.
The agriculture revenue of the State stood at Rs. 50,000 crore. Of this, the contribution of horticulture crop was only 14 per cent, accounting for Rs. 20,000 crore.
Stating that horticulture was a lucrative sector, he urged the farmers to adopt horticulture to earn more profit.
He said that after Bijapur, Chitradurga was second largest producer of horticulture crops in the State. “Interestingly, Chitradurga has achieved this position despite having limited irrigation facilities and erratic rainfall. The reason is that the district provides a conducive atmosphere for horticulture,” he said.
He urged the progressive farmers and officials concerned to make other farmers aware of this fact and encourage them to take up horticulture.
He said that more technical knowledge should be imparted among the farmers to take up horticulture in a more effective manner.
Observing that the district was cultivating horticulture crops like onion, arecanut, coconut, chilly and banana in large quantities, Mr. Jayaram said that if all these crops were brought under separate zones in horticulture, it would be possible to promote these crops in a better manner.
He said there was a need to conduct proper testing of the soil and water before taking up horticulture cultivation.
Deputy Director of Horticulture Department B. Vijaykumar was present