20 December 2022, Chandigarh: The incredible achievements made by Haryana in the Agriculture and Horticulture sector have yet again been recognized at the national level as both the departments have bagged SKOCH GOLD Award for their respective remarkable achievements in Soil Health Card and Crop Cluster Development Programme.
Giving information in this regard, an official spokesperson said that the award was received on behalf of Haryana by Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department, Dr Sumita Misra, and Director General, Horticulture Department, Sh. Arjun Saini in New Delhi.
He said that under the leadership of Haryana Chief Minister, Sh. Manohar Lal and guidance of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister, Sh. JP Dalal, Haryana is continuously setting new dimensions in the agriculture and horticulture sector. The state government is making efforts towards increasing the profit and income of the farmers through diversification.
Haryana, the second largest contributor of food grains to the national pool, has taken many policy initiatives for diversification towards horticulture and promotion of agri-business. Haryana has mapped around 400 horticulture crop clusters and formed 700 Farmer Producer Organizations.
To strengthen the backward and forward linkages in the clusters, the State has launched an ambitious Scheme – “Crop Cluster Development Program (CCDP)” with an outlay of Rs. 510.35 crore for establishing on-farm Integrated Pack-Houses through FPOs.
So far, 33 integrated pack-houses have been established and 35 are under progress. By the end of the current financial year, a total of 100 such integrated pack-houses are targeted to be established.
Further, to ensure end to the end value chain for farmers and farm produce, a total of 37 Agri Sector Companies have executed 54 MoU with 34 FPOs for trading and marketing of FPOs produce with a buy-back mechanism to boost agri-business activities. In a short span of 10 months trading of 13400 MT horticulture commodities valuing more than Rs. 14 crores have been materialized and are expected to rise to over Rs. 200 crores.
The CCDP was launched to resolve several issues including aggregation of produce: Cluster formation, Farmers groups and market linkages like Pack-houses, Collection centres, Grading – packing and standards. Besides this, it also aims to resolve sanitary and phytosanitary measures including issues of pesticide residues, and microbiological contamination including pests, diseases, aflatoxins, and heavy metals.
Market access issues like legitimate barriers to trade: Domestic and export including national and international standards like IPPC and Codex and GAP protocols, Organic farming, and quality test labs.
Haryana intends to achieve complete modernization of the horticulture supply chain in the State from end-to-end approach connecting Farmers with the market & consumers. There is a huge impact of this project. Under HarKhet-SwasthKhet Abhiyan, about 75 lakh soil samples will be collected and tested in 3-4 years and Soil Health Cards (SHC) for every acre will be distributed to farmers.
To increase the people participation and awareness about soil testing, the work for collection of soil samples and distribution of Soil Health Cards is being performed through engagement of ‘Kisan Sahayaks’ (local villagers) and ‘Science Students’ of Government Colleges, Government Senior Secondary Schools under ‘Earn While-You Learn’ programme. An incentive of Rs. 40 per soil sample is also being provided to Kisan Sahayaks and Science Students. They were trained by the Department for soil sample collection. With this strategy, the state has collected 30 lakh soil samples in the year 2022-23 which is eight times faster as compared to previous years (2015-2020).
Network of Soil Testing Laboratories in Haryana
Haryana state has a wide network of Soil Testing Laboratories where farmers have easy access for soil testing. In the periphery of 20-25 Kms, there is availability of soil testing laboratory. Before 2020-21, Department 35 Static Soil Testing Laboratories which could test 7.4 lakh soil samples annually. During the year 2021-22 and 2022-23, the Department made 60 new STLs (13 static+47 mini), now, the Department has a total 95 (48 static + 47 Mini) Soil Testing Laboratories which can test 30 lakh soil samples annually.
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