Odisha To Expand Cultivation Area Of 5 Vegetable Crops

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government is set to launch concrete measures to promote expansion area for five vegetable crops, including potato, as part of efforts to make the state self-sufficient.

According to reports, the government plans to promote the cultivation of potatoes, onion, tomato, cabbage and cauliflower over an area of 15,000 hectares during the coming rabi season with a cold storage-centric cluster approach.

Noting that the run-of-the-mill approach adopted may not help make the state self-sufficient, the directorate of horticulture has said area expansion of the crops of these vegetables has to be explored beyond its conventional cultivation period.

Suitable sites with favourable ambient conditions promoting these vegetables and spices accompanied by adaptable variety may address the concern to a substantial extent, the horticulture director has said in a communication to the deputy directors and assistant directors of the department, they said.

While a target of 5,000 hectare each for potato and onion cultivation has been set, a similar area has to be identified in the district for tomato, cabbage and cauliflower farming. The government will provide financial support of Rs 29 crore each for potato and onion cultivation and Rs 10 crore for tomato, cabbage and cauliflower, sources said.

Emphasis has been placed on cluster formation in the catchment area of functional cold storages in confirmatory with the target set for the district. A similar cluster approach has to be adopted for districts without functional cold storages and the target set against the districts is non-negotiable.

The district officials have been directed to take immediate action by mobilizing field staff for the selection of beneficiaries and areas for vegetable cropping against the set target for the district. This exercise has to be completed before October 15, they said.

Farmer producer organisations, farmer interest groups and women self-help groups (SHGs) have to be mobilised during preparatory activities for selection of beneficiaries in a cluster approach to ensure better aggregation and marketing prospects.

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