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Creation of Horticulture Villages in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu is having 7 Agro climatic Zones. The prevailing climate is suitable for growing almost all Horticultural Crops. A separate department had been formulated for Horticulture owing to its diversified activities and scope for expansion in 1979 by bifurcating it from the Department of Agriculture. Since then various schemes are being implemented by this Department with the following objectives;

To increase the area, production and productivity of Horticulture crops

To increase the standard of living of farmer

On the whole 55% area, 152% production and 52% productivity increase is achieved in 20 years. The credit of this achievement can be attributed to the implementation of the following schemes and technologies introduced through this Department.

S.NoSchemeStrategies
1Integrated Horticulture Development SchemeArea expansion
Use of high yielding/hybrid seeds and pedigree planting materials
2National Horticulture MissionArea expansion
Rejuvenation of old orchards
High density planting
Canopy Management
Thrust on IPM&INM
Protected cultivation
3National Agricultural Development ProgrammePrecision Farming
Hi-tech Horticulture
4National Mission on Micro IrrigationJudicious use of water
Fertigation
5State Horticulture FarmsProduction of quality pedigree planting materials

Though the achievement has been made, is visible in area, production and productivity on the whole, micro level (at village level) the impact is not visible since the schemes are implemented in scattered manner throughout the state. Hence, it is essential to pool all Government schemes in one particular village to know the impact. As a pilot project it is now proposed to implement the available Government schemes in select villages of 15 districts. The proposed project period is 3 years.

Project Objectives

To promote holistic growth of horticulture crops at village level.

To enhance the status of living and economic standards of farmers by growing Horticulture crops.

To increase the productivity levels of horticulture crops through implementing location specific and yield influencing effective technologies.

To increase the area and production of horticulture crops in Tamil Nadu.

To quantify and exhibit the impact of various horticulture schemes implemented by the department within a shorter span of time.

Project Implementation

For the implementation of this project 15 districts have been identified and 5 villages will be selected in each district and Horticulture Facilitation Centers will be established for developing the selected villages into Horticulture Villages. So, totally 75 villages will be selected for the project.

Districts - Tiruvallur, Vellore, Salem, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Erode, Coimbatore, The Nilgiris, Trichy, Perambalur, Madurai, Theni, Dindigul, Ramnad and Tirunelveli.

 

                                                               MODEL MICRO IRRIGATION VILLAGE

The Government of Tamil Nadu has encouraged the farmers by way of giving 100% subsidy to small and Marginal farmers and 75% subsidy to other farmers for installation of Micro Irrigation system. To give a wide spread adoption of this technology one Micro Irrigation model village will be selected in each district and entire village will be covered under Micro Irrigation. The Micro Irrigation system will be installed at subsidized cost. More over the field inspection will be done in an easy and quick method by using information technology for monitoring the implementation of the scheme.

One model village will be selected in each district wherein the entire Horticulture and Agriculture crops suitable for Micro Irrigation, irrigated by open wells and tube wells, will be brought under Micro Irrigation either by Drip irrigation or Sprinkler irrigation. The selection of the Micro Irrigation system will be based on the requirement of farmer and suitability of the crops cultivated.

Small and Marginal farmers will be given with 100% subsidy and other farmers will be given with 75% subsidy for installation of Micro Irrigation system. The scheme will be implemented by using the funds from on going National Mission on Micro Irrigation scheme.

The progress of the work will be by inspected and monitored by using Information technology, a new method of M- Governance ( Mobile Governance). By this way the status of installation of the Micro Irrigation systems in the Geo fenced fields of the beneficiaries can be monitored easily by the Deputy Director of Horticulture, District Collector,Commissioner of Horticulture and Plantation Crops, etc. And also other activities like constructions and maintenance works in the Parks and Gardens under TANHODA can be monitored using GIS instantaneously. All these automation would be taken up by using mobile devices.


BRIEF OUTLINE ABOUT THE ONGOING PROJECTS

a) ESTABLISHMENT OF AN ECO PARK AT COURTALLAM IN TIRUNELVELI DISTRICT

The Establishment of an Eco Park at Courtallam is implemented in the State Horticulture Farm, Courtallam in Tirunelveli District.  This is also very nearer to the famous “Five Falls” of Courtallam.  The total extent of the Park is 37.23 acres.  The total project cost is Rs.573.00 lakhs.  The Eco Park forms part of the Western Ghats. 

Some of the tourist attractive feature of the Eco Park are Adventure Play Area, Sunken Garden, Fern Garden, Royal Drive, Bamboo Avenue, Rock Garden, Children Play Area, Murals, Butter fly Garden, Eco pond, Stream walk,  etc. The Eco park is illuminated with colourful lights and high mass inside the park. Food court is provided for refreshment and much more attractive features are available for the tourist. (See the pictures)

b) ESTABLISHMENT OF GOVERNMENT BOTANICAL GARDEN AT YERCAUD IN SALEM DISTRICT

The establishment of Government Botanical Garden is implemented at Yercaud in Salem District at 1515 metres MSL.  It is located at a distance of 36 Km from Salem well connected by road, nearby Rail way Station and Airport located at Salem.  The total extent of the Park is 36.00 acres.  The total project cost is Rs.745.00 Lakhs. Yercaud is already a famous tourist spot as a hill resort in Tamil Nadu.   Establishment of Government Botanical Garden is an added attraction. 

Some of the attractive features of the Government Botanical Gardens are Tourist facilitating Centre, View towers, Gazebo, Amphitheatre, Glass house, Fern house, Flower show gallery, Bonsai Gardens, Lawns, Shelters, etc.  All these features are connected with beautiful pathways.

To enrich the beautification of the garden, it is provided with colourful LED lighting with the decorative street lightings, focusing lamps, etc. The entire landscape gardens are provided with drip and popup sprinklers systems.  No doubt that this garden would attract more visitors in addition to other sight seeing spots. (See the Picture)

c) ESTABLISHMENT OF ORNAMENTAL AND DEMO GARDEN AT STATE HORTICUALTURE FARM, MADHAVARAM, NEAR CHENNAI

The establishment of Ornamental and Demo Garden is implemented at State Horticulture Farm, Madhavaram and Near Chennai City.  It is located 6 km from Perambur Rail way Station and 18 Km away from the Chennai Broadway.  The park is coming up adjoining the road side, which leads to Moolakadai to Madhavaram Milk Colony, on Ennore Main Road and well connected by road.  The total extent of the Park is 28.51 acres.  The total project cost of the Park is Rs.573.00 Lakhs.  Since there is no tourist attraction place in the outskirt of the North Madras, the upcoming park is a gift to people of the North Madras.  It will be the biggest park in and around Chennai and will attract everyone coming to Chennai City. Some of the attractive features are fountains, Artificial Water Cascade, Aviary, Kids Play Area, Trellises, Garden, Space maze, Wall maze, Lake with aerator fountain, Bridge with view Deck  across the lake, etc.The garden will be fully illuminated with decorative foot path lighting, focusing lamps, street lamps, etc. Landscaping gardens are provided with automatic drip system and top up sprinkler systems.  It will function as a large and beautiful sight seeing spot in around to the Chennai City. (See the pictures)

d) IMPROVEMENT OF BRYAND PARK, ANNA PARK AND CHETTIAR PARK AT KODAIKANAL

The park was established by British people several decades earlier. Kodaikanal is one of the tourist attractive hill resorts in Tamil Nadu.  Bryant Park, Chettiar Park and Anna Park are already tourist attractive points.  To face lift these parks, plenty of improvement works were taken up at an out lay of Rs.113 lakhs.  The Bryant Park at Kodaikanal is functioning in an area of 25.72 acres, in order to improve the existing park’s beauty; the entire pathways were re-laid with attractive Antiskid tiles. Vacant spaces are covered with attractive flower species.  The entire Anna Park was renovated with compound wall, illuminated with attractive lights, provision of Lilly Pond, Fountain, etc.  Like wise the existing Chettiar Park was also renovated with new Antiskid tiles foot path, Children play areas with play equipments and Garden were developed.  No doubt it will attract more visitors. (See the Pictures)

e) ESTABLISHMENT OF KURINJI GENETIC HERITAGE GARDEN AT YERCAND

To establish and to educate the old history of “Sangam Literature” and the way of life style of the people in those days, to the younger generation, the concept of Establishment of Kurinji Genetic Heritage Garden at Yercaud in Salem District was taken up.  The total project cost is Rs.816 lakhs.  The object of the garden is to recreate the Flora, fauna, Life Style, Architectural style of period, Folk, love, etc., of the various landscapes existed during the Sangam literature.  This garden will be established with the Flora, Fauna, Architecture, Culture and Life style of Sangam age.  It would be a model park teaching the ancient culture. The garden will accommodate the flora of that region including the cultivable and wild, endangered, endemic species of that area during Sangam period.  The entire garden is illuminated with beautiful lightings and l equipped with drip and sprinkler irrigation systems. It is of no doubt that this particular Genetic Heritage Garden would create awareness to the visitors and to enjoy KURUNJI landscape effect of Sangam Literature.  (See the pictures)

f) ESTABLISHMENT OF PAALAI GENETIC HERITAGE GARDEN AT ACHADIPIRAMBU 

The establishment of Paalai Genetic Heritage Garden is implemented at Achadipirambu in Ramanad District.  The total project cost is Rs.784.00 lakhs and the total extend of the area is 10.00 acres.  The site is located in the highway of Tuticorin and 5 km away from the Ramand Town and well connected with Roads and Railways.  The famous pilgrimage place of Rameswaram Temple is around 40 Km.  away from the Garden.  Hence, pilgrims and tourists who visit the famous Rameswaram Temple should not miss to enter into this Garden.  The object of the Garden is as said in the Kurinji, to create awareness of the life style of the people of ancient Sangam Literature period.

NEW PROJECTS PROPOSED FOR IMPLEMENTATION DURING THE YEAR 2012-13

1. In Kodaikanal, the State Horticulture Farm is proposed to be converted and established as a Rose Garden and Cut Flower Demonstration Unit in an area of 4.40 acres at an out lay of Rs.900.00 lakhs.

2. In Kanyakumari, the State Horticulture Farm is to be developed into a Bio Diversity and Eco park in an area of 15 acres at an outlay of Rs.650.00 lakhs.

3. In Krishnagiri District at State Horticulture Farm, Thally is to be developed with infrastructure facilities to impart Training to the field functionaries and the Farmers from the State as well as near by States. The infrastructures are to be developed at an out lay of Rs.400.00 lakhs.

4. In Chennai, at Madhavaram the existing Horticulture Culture Training is proposed to be up graded a Horticulture management Institute. A multi story Horticulture Management Institute construction will be provided with all modern facilities to impart training to the field functionaries and the farmers from the state, as well as, from all over the country with International Standard at an outlay of Rs.725.00 lakhs.

FUTURE PLAN OF ACTION

In addition to the above projects Tamil Nadu Horticulture Development Agency has planned to implement projects like, Creation of an Eco Park at Vathalmalai in Dharmapuri District, Improvement works at Government Botanical Garden, Ooty, Government Rose Garden, Ooty and Sims Park Coonoor in the forth coming year. 

 

Encouraging Cultivation of Pandal Vegetables

General Scenario

The agro ecology of Tamil Nadu is favourable for growing large variety of vegetable crops. An area of 2.62 lakhs ha is under vegetable cultivation. It occupies a prominent share of 26 % of total horticulture crops. Vegetables are used for domestic consumption and processing into various products. Vegetables are excellent source of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron besides proteins and carbohydrates. Vegetables combat under nourishment and are known to be a cheapest source of natural protective tools.

Pandal vegetables, being short duration crops, fit very well in the intensive cropping system. It offers viable option for the growers to get increased income per unit area. It includes no. of vegetables viz. bitter gourd, snake gourd, ribbed gourd, panda avarai etc. These vegetables are grown on commercial scale and are capable of giving high yields and high economic returns to the growers. It has tremendous market potential. The cultivation of vegetables is constrained due to high initial investment cost. With the objective of enhancing area under pandal vegetables and encouraging farmers to obtain increased income, it is proposed to implement the project on “­Encouraging Cultivation of Pandal Vegetables

Project Rationale

The initial investment cost to be offered by farmer towards establishing pandal and hybrid seed materials are high due to which often farmers are unable to go in for pandal cultivation of vegetables.

Pandal vegetables has good demand all through the year and it has consistent  local as well as export market potential

Farmers need to be encouraged for establishing pandal structure and cultivating crops (Pandal vegetables)

Since farmers practice traditional method of cultivation and constantly using local varieties they get low yield. High yielding / hybrid seed materials have to be popularized among the farmers to get enhanced yield per unit area.

Improved method of cultivation has to be disseminated to farmers

Project Implementation

This project will be implemented in 28 districts with a financial out lay of Rs.778.00 lakhs. High yielding/Hybrid seeds will be distributed to farmers at 50% subsidy. Assistances will be provided for establishing pandal structure as back ended subsidy.

Eligibility

Each farmer is eligible for a maximum assistance of 1 ha. All category farmers are eligible to get assistance under this project


ORGANIC FARMING

In the context of changing world scenario towards organically produced Food, organic farming is gaining importance world wide. India, as a result of "Green Revolution" has attained self sufficiency in food grain production and is able to feed the 1.2 billion mouths. But this has definitely led to overexploitation of our natural resources and indiscriminate use of chemicals for cultivation. With food safety concerns looming large, we have to definitely take a stand on sustainable agriculture by adopting organic farming methods especially in food crops.

Realizing this, the following announcement was made by the Hon’ble Minister for agriculture on the floor of the assembly during the Agriculture Demand on 19.04.2012 regarding Organic Farming policy of the State.

This announcement has already instilled a sense of responsibility among the stake holders and public and it is imperative to draft the policy immediately.

RATIONALE

Though our state tends to be a pioneer in most of the technologies and policies, we are found to be lagging behind states like Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Uttaranchal as far as Organic Farming is concerned. 

Organic Farming strategies can be devised only based on a strong State policy. The method of implementation and agencies involved can also be defined based on a policy. Hence these attributes form a part of the State Organic Farming Policy.

OBJECTIVES

  • To analyze the world Organic Farming Scenario and to determine our role in the global arena of Organic Farming.
  • To bring together eminent brains in the field of Organic Farming in the Country and State and to pool their views and knowledge on Organic Farming.
  • To Draft an Organic Farming Policy for the State which is wholesome and would be a ready Reckoner for all future Schemes and proposals of the State on Organic farming

As per G.O Ms.(2D) no.123, Agri (AP3 Dept), dt.11.09.12 the following 18 members were proposed to form the committee to draft the Organic Farming Policy.

  1. Dr. Santhosh Babu, I.A.S, Commissioner of Horticulture & Plantation Crops, Chepauk, Chennai-5.
  2. Mr. Shiv Das Meena, I.A.S, Commissioner of Agriculture, Chepauk, Chennai
  3. Mr. M. Thangaraju, Joint Director of Horticulture, Department of Seed Certification & Organic Certification
  4. Dr. Tej Pratap Vice Chancellor, J & K Agricultural University, & President of ICCOA
  5. Dr. Yadhav Director, NCOF
  6. Mr. Durairaj Director, APOF (Certification Agency)
  7. Dr. N Selvaraj  Prof & Head, HRS, Rose Park, Ooty.
  8. Mr. Manoj Menon Executive Director, ICCOA, Bangaluru
  9. Mr. Rajaseelam Reddy, MD, Sresta Natural Bio-products Ltd, Hyderabad
  10. Mr. S. Sunil Kumar, Principal Consultant, Aum Consulting Inc. Chennai
  11. Mr. D. Ramakrishnan Malayandipattinam, Pollachi.
  12. Dr. Aru. Solayappan, Foundation For Organic Agriculture, Chengalpet
  13. Mr. Anantha Sayanan, Founder, "Restore" organic outlets
  14. Mr. Parasuraman, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundations
  15. Mr. O.V.R.Somasundaram Farmer, Pollachi
  16. Mr. S. Ranganathan Farmer, Mannargudi, Thanjavur.
  17. Mr. Arul Michel Henry Farmer, Azhagappapuram, Kanniyakumari.
  18. Mr. Gladson Robin Farmer, Udayarvilai, Colachal.