Reported by Swetaparna Mohanty
Bhubaneswar, Dec 11:
The Odisha government has targeted to bring 30 per cent of cultivable land in the state under horticultural crops within the next 10 years.
As part of the exercise to meet this ambitious target, the Directorate of Horticulture in the state proposes to bring 70,000 hectares of land under horticulture every year from now.
The new thrust on horticulture, horticulture officials say, is premised on two essential factors. One, the soil and climatic conditions in the state are ideally suited to grow a wide variety of horticultural crops known to fetch higher returns per unit area. And two, the immense potential of the horticulture to provide round the year employment to those who opt for it.
“Our State has more than 29.14 lakh ha upland and 17.55 lakh ha of medium land out of the total cultivated area where horticultural crops can be grown successfully. It has been decided to bring 30 % of the cultivated area into horticultural crops. Thus we have to bring an additional area of about 70,000 ha per annum into horticulture fold for the coming 10 years,” a letter written by the director Horticulture S Nanda and addressed to all deputy directors and assistant directors (in-charge of districts) of Horticulture said.
The director has asked the deputy directors and assistant directors of Horticulture to prepare a strategic plan for their respective districts for converting 2000-5000 hectares of land every year for the next l0 years.
Possible convergence, sourcing of funds, crop suitability etc. should be considered while preparing the proposal, the letter said.
The crops may be fruits, vegetables spices, ornamental crops, plantation crops, medicinal plants etc., it added.