The Government of India's Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare (MoA&FW) has established a new Horticulture Cluster Development programme to boost the country's horticulture sector's worldwide competitiveness. The National Horticulture Board has been designated as the Nodal Agency for the Cluster Development Program, which is a part of the NHB's Central Sector Scheme.
The Cluster Growth Program (CDP) aims to take advantage of horticultural clusters' geographic specialisation and encourage integrated and market-led development of preproduction, production, postharvest, logistics, branding, and marketing activities. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has identified 53 horticultural clusters, 12 of which have been chosen for the program's pilot launch. The initiative will be expanded to cover all 53 clusters based on the lessons learned from the pilot experiment. The lessons learned from the pilot phase will assist policymakers and field workers in better execute the initiative in all horticultural clusters across India.
Based on the recommendations of the State/Central Government, a government/public sector body will be appointed as a Cluster Development Agency (CDA) to implement the CDP. This involvement of state government agencies through CDA will ensure that learnings are institutionalised and can be duplicated in the future for the creation of additional clusters around the country.
The program's main goals are to:
a) Address the concerns of the horticultural value chain in an integrated manner, from pre-production, production, postharvest management, and value addition to logistics, marketing, and branding, in order to improve competitiveness in both the home and export markets.
b) Develop/expand/upgrade infrastructure for post-harvest handling of product, value addition, and market connections to reduce harvest and post-harvest losses.
c) Facilitate the introduction of innovative technology and techniques to help focus cluster crops improve their global competitiveness.
d) Facilitate resource integration, particularly the convergence of multiple government initiatives, in order to embed stakeholders in global value chains.
e) Develop stakeholder capacity and increase farmer income through cluster-specific interventions, such as brand promotion.
The National Horticulture Board will provide financial assistance to the Implementing Agencies through CDAs assigned to each Cluster. According to the area covered in the Cluster, it has been classified into three categories: Mega, Midi, and Mini. -
* Area under focus crop in the Cluster.
The Cluster Growth Program (CDP) is intended to make use of horticultural clusters' geographic expertise in order to promote integrated and market-driven development of pre-production, production, postharvest, logistics, branding, and marketing activities. The program's implementation structure is as follows:
1. The National Horticulture Board (NHB) will provide financial support and oversee the program's overall implementation.
2. For each identified cluster, a government/public sector entity recommended by the State/Central Government shall be appointed as a Cluster Development Agency (CDA).
3. For the smooth implementation of the programme, the CDA will establish a Cluster Development Cell (CDC) with a dedicated team of officers.
4. The CDAs will select Implementing Agency/Agencies (IAs) for the Cluster's various verticals, namely:
5. NHB's Project Management Unit (PMU) will provide technical assistance to NHB and CDA in order for the Cluster Development Programme to be implemented effectively.