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  • The GOI has devised a new platform for disbursing subsidies to horticulture farmers under the Cluster Development Programme (CDP), an initiative to promote horticulture crops.

Features of CDP-SURAKSHA

  • The CDP-SURAKSHA is essentially a digital platform.
  • SURAKSHA stands for “System for Unified Resource Allocation, Knowledge, and Secure Horticulture Assistance.”
  • The platform will allow farmers to receive subsidies instantly in their bank accounts by utilising the e-RUPI voucher from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
  • The platform allows access to farmers, vendors, implementing agencies (IA), cluster development agencies (CDAs), and officials of the National Horticulture Board (NHB).
  • The CDP-SURAKSHA has features such as
    1. Database integration with PM-KISAN,
    2. Cloud-based server space from NIC,
    3. UIDAI validation,
    4. eRUPI integration,
    5. Local government directory (LGD),
    6. Content management system,
    7. Geotagging and geo-fencing.

National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)

  • It is an umbrella organisation for operating retail payments and settlement systems in India.
  • It is an initiative of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) under the provisions of the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007, to create a robust Payment & Settlement Infrastructure in India.
  • It has been incorporated as a “Not for Profit” Company under the provisions of Section 25 of the Companies Act 1956 (now Section 8 of the Companies Act 2013).
  • NPCI is promoted by ten major banks, including the State Bank of India, Punjab National Bank, Citibank, Bank of Baroda, and HSBC.
  • The NPCI can operate payment systems such as the National Financial Switch (NFS), Immediate Payment System (IMPS), Aadhaar-enabled Payments System (AEPS), and National Automated Clearing House (NACH).

Services Offered by NPCI

  • Bharat Bill Payment Interface (BBPI): It was developed to help the retail payments sector. With its introduction, a single platform has been created for aggregators and billpayers.
  • Immediate Payment Service (IMPS): This facility allows you to transfer funds immediately and is available at any time.
  • RuPay: NPCI introduced RuPay so that average citizens can make financial decisions.
    • RuPay is an affordable card and can be issued as credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards. More than 300 million RuPay cards are in India.
  • USSD Services: Unstructured Supplementary Service Date (USSD) was introduced by the NPCI to allow individuals to make banking solutions without the need for the internet or smartphones.
  • BHIM: BHIM uses UPI to complete payment transfers. You can make payments via BHIM by entering the Virtual Payment Address (VPA) or the registered mobile number. No smartphone is required to transfer funds via BHIM.
  • UPI: United Payments Interface (UPI) allows you to transfer funds from your smartphone.

Significance of the CDP-SURAKSHA

  • The move seeks to push the growth of India’s horticulture sector, which contributes nearly one-third to the agriculture gross value addition (GVA).
  • The total production of horticulture crops in India has spiked from 240.53 million tonnes (in 2010-11) to 334.60 million tonnes in 2020-21.

Horticulture Cluster Development Programme

  • It is a central sector programme aimed at growing and developing identified horticulture clusters to make them globally competitive.
  • Horticulture cluster is a regional/geographical concentration of targeted horticulture crops.
  • It recognizes the importance of developing horticulture clusters across the country to assist farmers with small holdings through the formation of Farmer Producer Organizations (FPOs).

Implementation

  • It is implemented (Nodal Agency) by the National Horticulture Board (NHB) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
  • The states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Manipur, Mizoram, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, etc. will also be included in the list of 55 clusters, identified with their focus/main crops.
  • Earlier, in the pilot phase, it was implemented in 12 clusters covering 11 States/UTs.
  • These clusters will be implemented by Cluster Development Agencies (CDAs), which are appointed based on the recommendations of the respective State/UT Government.
    • A government or public sector entity, recommended by the state/central government, will be appointed as a Cluster Development Agency (CDA)

Objectives

  • The CDP aims to improve exports of targeted crops by about 20% and create cluster-specific brands to enhance the competitiveness of cluster crops.
  • To enhance competitiveness in the domestic and export markets in an integrated manner.
  • To facilitate the introduction of innovative technologies and practices to help enhance the global competitiveness of focus cluster crops.
  • Address all major issues related to the Indian horticulture sector, including pre-production, production, post-harvest management, logistics, marketing, and branding.
  • Reduce harvest and post-harvest losses by developing, expanding, and upgrading the infrastructure for post-harvest handling of produce, value addition, and market linkages.
  • To leverage geographical specialisation and promote integrated and market-led development of horticulture clusters.
  • To converge with other government initiatives such as the Agriculture Infrastructure Fund.
  • To build the capacity of stakeholders and enhance farmers’ income through cluster-specific interventions, including brand promotion.

Significance

  • The CDP has great potential to transform the entire horticulture ecosystem by creating last-mile connectivity through the use of multimodal transport for efficient and timely evacuation and transportation of horticulture produce.
  • It also will attract an estimated investment of INR 10,000 crore when implemented in all the 55 clusters.

Status of Indian Horticulture Sector

  • India is the second-largest producer of horticulture crops globally, accounting for approximately 12% of the world’s production of fruits and vegetables.
  • The area under horticulture crops increased to 25.5 million hectare in 2018-19, which is 20% of the total area under foodgrain, and produced 314 million tonnes.
  • During 2019-20, horticulture sector has reached the highest ever horticulture production of 320.77 Million MT in the history of Indian horticulture.
  • Top states in fruit production are Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh
  • Top states in Vegetable production are West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
  • India leads the market in fruits, including mango, pomegranate, sapota, banana, acid lime, and aonla.

Initiatives for Horticulture

Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture

  • MIDH is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for the holistic growth of the horticulture sector covering fruits, vegetables and other areas.
  • Under MIDH, the GOI contributes 60% of the total outlay for developmental programmes in all the states (except North Eastern and Himalayan states, where the GOI contributes 90%), and state governments contribute 40%.
  • It has five major schemes for horticulture:
    1. National Horticulture Mission (NHM)
    2. Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States (HMNEH)
    3. National Horticulture Board (NHB)
    4. Coconut Development Board (CDB) &
    5. Central Institute of Horticulture (CIH), Nagaland

Project CHAMAN

  • It stands for Coordinated Horticulture Assessment and Management using geo-informatics.
  • It aims to make use of Geo-informatics to help the farmers and assist the horticulture segment of Indian agriculture.
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