Orissa Horticulture at a Glance

        In Orissa, prior to 1977 Horticultural interventions were under taken, simultaneously along with normal Agriculture programmes as a part of Directorate of Agriculture & Food Production. Thus before creation of separate Directorate of Horticulture, promotion & development of Horticultural crops was taken as second priority, next to rice, pulses etc. After separation of Horticulture Directorate from DA & F.P in 1977, systematic & structured approach for Horticulture development came into being. A designated cadre of extension personnel though inadequate was put in place in 1989. Thereafter Techno-economic feasibility study of the Horticulture sector was got done by the Horticulture Department for the State.

Potential for Horticulture :
                          The agro-climatic diversity in the state with its high rain fall distributed over a four month monsoon and a reasonably moderate winter allows for growing a variety of Horticultural crops. The normal rainfall received from June to September from South-West monsoon is immensely suitable for growing perennial fruit crops like mango, litchi, guava, oranges and limes : annual fruit crops like banana, pineapple and papaya, spices like ginger, turmeric and chilly, a variety of root and tubers and a whole range of vegetables. The low temperature existing in hilly areas at higher altitude offer ideal conditions for growing off-season vegetables. The state thus enjoys a natural comparative advantage for Horticulture with possibilities for growing a diversified basket of fruits, vegetables, spices, tuber crops and flowers whose potential has not been fully exploited. Perennial Horticulture crops also help the farmer to secure against unforeseen droughts. Preferably existing high land of our state is mostly suitable for cultivation of perennial fruit crops. Likewise large tract of soils in the state having light textured red soils, with low water holding capacity, low fertility are quite conducive for growing horticultural tree crops e.g. mango & cashew.

Infrastructure Support :

                The Directorate of Horticulture is having 85 departmental farms over an area of 1913.08 ha.(Orchard area 1052.24 ha.) and 89 transit nurseries used primarily for the production of quality planting materials. There are total 219 fruit nurseries in Orissa engaged for production & supply of planting material of different fruit crops. Out of these 125 nurseries are in public sector and 95 nurseries are available in private sector. The nurseries in private sector are registered and monitored by the Orissa Fruit Nurseries (Regulation) Act 1997 and The Orissa Nurseries (Regulation) Rules 2001. There are also 4 nos. of tissue culture laboratories (1 Govt. and 3-Private) in the state to cater the demand of tissue culture plantlets.

Perennial Fruits Crop Coverage ::

                                Mango, Guava, Citrus, Sapota, Banana, Litchi, and Papaya are the major fruits grown in the state over an area of 2.55 lakh ha. While mango is grown all over the state, prime growing areas are Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Angul, Dhenkanal, Koraput, Sambalpur, Rayagada, Phulbani and Sundargarh. Similarly banana is mainly grown in Khurda, Puri, Kalahandi, Bolangir, Cuttack, Nayagarh, Rayagada, Koraput and Balasore district. Besides Guava, Papaya, K.lime is grown all over the state where as Orange, Sapota and Litchi in certain pockets. The productivity of fruits in the state is only 6.69 tons / ha. against national average of 11.9 tonnes / ha. There has been substantial increase in production of major fruit crops like mango, cashew & banana by way of area expansion. Many of the plantations are old, senile and un-productive due to lack of proper care and maintenance which resulted in reduction in fruit production.

Schemes operated in the Department :

                         1. National Horticulture Mission
                         2. Micro Irrigation Project
                         3. Hort. Programme in Non-mission districts
                         4. Coconut Development Board
                         5. ISOPOM (Oil Palm)
                         6. Input Subsidy
                         7. Development of Potato, Vegetable and Spices
                         8. Establishment & Revival of Block Level Nurseries
                         9. Inter-cropping in Fruit Orchard

1. NHM Programme :

                National Horticultural Mission was started in the state by the Minister of Agriculture & Co-operation, Government of India, during 2005-06 in 16 districts (viz. Balasore, Bolangir, Cuttack, Khurda, Puri, Koraput, Malkangiri, Nawarangpur, Rayagada, Gajapati, Nayagarh, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Kalahandi, Nuapada and Sonepur). Later on during 2006-07 three districts (Dhenkanal, Ganjam and Phulbani) and during 2007-08 five more districts (Angul, Bargarh, Deogarh, Sambalpur and Sundargarh) were added to the list totaling to 24 districts covered under NHM. The objectives of the scheme is to increase the production and productivity of fruits, vegetables, spices and floriculture crops in the state thus enhance the economic status of the farmers, promotion of export oriented agro-based industries through provision of subsidy on supply of quality planting materials, training and development of Post Harvest Management & Market infrastructure etc. The Scheme was implemented under Central Plan with 100% Govt. of India funding. From the year 2007-08, it has been included under Centrally Sponsored Plan Scheme 85:15 between Govt. of India and State.
2. Micro Irrigation Project :

                   The scheme envisages providing subsidy for drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation suitable for fruit crops, vegetable, medicinal crops & floriculture crops etc. The pattern of subsidy will be 70% of the unit cost i.e. 30% will be borne by the farmer and rest 70% will be borne by Govt. of India and State Govt. at a ratio of 40:30.30 basis.
3. Hort. Programme in Non-mission districts :

             This programme envisages establishment of new gardens of fruits and flowers in compact areas, organic farming, training activities etc. in the non-mission districts in the pattern of National Horticulture Mission. The programme will be taken up in the 6 districts which are not covered under NHM programme ; namely Jharsuguda, Bhadrak, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur and Boudh.
4. Coconut Development Board :

                  For development of Coconut in the State, Coconut Development Board provided financial assistance in a ratio of 50 : 50 basis under different component like Raising of Coconut Seedling, Production and Distribution of TxD hybrid coconut seedling, Organic manure unit etc. Besides, Coconut Development Board provided assistance 100% for increasing area under coconut like Area Expansion of Coconut
5. ISOPOM (Oil Palm) :

              Oil palm is an important commercial crop which needs to be implemented in the state for the economic development of rural poor. The scheme envisages Oil Palm plantation as well as its maintenance in the potential pockets of Gajapati, Rayagada and Dhenkanal districts with financial assistance from Govt. of India and State Govt. at a ratio of 75:25.
6. Input Subsidy :

             Planting material is the basic requisite for getting a good yield. The poor farmers normally decline to spend on purchase quality planting material of fruit plants for planting in their backyards. So, the grafts / gootees / seedlings of good varieties need to be supplied at a subsidized rate to encourage them. A minimum of five plants per beneficiary is supplied at 75% subsidy on planting material only
7. Development of Potato, Vegetable and Spices :

              The scheme envisages for increasing production and productivity of Vegetable and spices. For increasing the area under vegetable, it has been proposed to supply vegetable seed minikits to the farmers at a subsidized rate. Similarly seed potato will be distributed to the farmers at a subsidized rate.
8. Establishment & Revival of Block Level Nurseries :

              This is a new scheme introduced in the state for providing quality planting materials for public sale as well as utilization in Govt. programme to cater the demand of the state. Under this scheme defunct block level nurseries will be revived.
9. Inter-cropping in Fruit Orchard :

             This is a new scheme for introducing with an aim to utilize the unused area under fruit crops. Under the scheme basically pineapple and root & tuber crops are taken as intercrop. This will provide short term assured economic benefit to the farmers within a period of one year, because the newly developed perennial fruit orchards give return after 4 to 5 years.