H/A: 2401-00-119-85 Rs. 6220.00 lakh H/A: 2401-00-119-81Rs. 1500.00 lakh
The Vegetable Development Programme will be implemented in the state with the objective of promoting vegetable production in the state in a safe-to-eat manner and to attain self-sufficiency in the sector. The scheme will be carried out in a Mission Mode involving all the stake holders in this sector such as Agriculture Development & Farmers Welfare Department, VFPCK, Horticorp, SHM, PACS, FPOs, Kerala Agricultural University and LSGDs. In order to ensure efficiency of resources, a phased strategy will be developed to shift from cash subsidies to subsidy in kind wherever possible.
During 2023-24, an amount of ₹ 9345.00 lakh is earmarked for vegetable development programme. Thrust will be given to AEU based planning focusing on 15 potential AEUs(AEU 1,2,3,8,9,10,11,12,13,17,18,20,21,22,23) and adoption of modern techniques for increasing the production and productivity.
The component wise breakup of vegetable development programme is given below.
An amount of ₹ 2300.00 lakh is allocated for the promotion of vegetable cultivation through VFPCK. The activities include support to vegetable cultivation including export quality vegetable cultivation through farmer Interest Groups, Farmer Producer Organisations, Clusters under GAP/PGS and infrastructure support to farmer producer organisations. The additional amount allocated to VFPCK is provided as support to undertake activities including processing and value addition, export promotion and FPO support. Crop insurance and natural calamity claims of farmers will be settled by registering through the AIMS portal of the Department of Agriculture Development and Farmers Welfare. VFPCK in addition to carrying out the general functions will carry out specific roles on project basis for which funds are allocated.
With the objective of productivity enhancement in vegetables, high yielding and hybrid varieties will be promoted. An amount of ₹ 500.00 lakh is set apart for distribution of hybrid seed kits and high yielding variety protray seedlings. Open field precision farming will be promoted in new areas aiming at increasing productivity and profit maximisation. An amount of ₹ 861.00 lakh is allocated for open field precision farming for vegetables, high value fruits and spices. Out of this an amount of ₹ 200.00 lakh is earmarked as support to Government assisted Startups in this area.
Homestead cultivation will be promoted in all the households in the State for producing Safe to eat vegetables throughout the state. Homestead vegetable cultivation will be supported through supply of vegetable seed kits and seedlings including perennial vegetables like bread fruit, agathi, muringa and curry leaves and cool season vegetables. Roof top cultivation including vertical farming units and hydroponics will be supported with technical advice of Kerala Agricultural University. Beneficiary selection should be transparent based on fixed criteria. An amount of ₹ 1350.00 lakh is set apart for homestead cultivation.
Commercial cultivation will be promoted through cluster based approach concentrating in the 15 AEUs which have the potential for vegetable cultivation. The size of cluster will be in the range of 3 ha to 5 ha. Cultivation will be based on crop calendar and production plan for each block. The clusters will be graded based on the productivity performance. Best performing clusters with two years‟ experience, good volume of business, nurseries, markets etc. and with a minimum turnover of ₹ 5.00 lakh will be selected. Assistance for second crop will be provided to grade one clusters. Clusters of women, youth and students will be given priority. Poor performing clusters will be delinked and new clusters will be formed. An amount of ₹ 3000.00 lakh is allocated for cluster based vegetable cultivation in 2023-24. Vegetable cultivation will be extended to fallow lands available under the ownership of department farms and PSUs also by involving farmer clusters and women groups.
An amount of ₹ 750.00 lakh is earmarked for construction of rain shelters for vegetable cultivation as per existing approved rates to facilitate vegetable production throughout the season. Project based cultivation including innovative technologies in institutions (excluding schools and colleges) will be promoted for which an amount of ₹ 214.00 lakh is set apart. An amount of ₹ 50.00 lakh is set apart for seed production of hybrid varieties of vegetables developed by KAU and KAU accepted national level institutions in government farms and make it available to farmers. This will be done in technical collaboration with the KAU.
An amount of ₹ 20.00 lakh is allocated for the conduct of pesticide residue analysis in vegetables provided by the Department of Agriculture through Kerala Agricultural University, Vellayani. The projects for which funds have not been provided under the allocation for the University (Research and Extension) only will qualify for this. An amount of ₹ 300.00 lakh is set apart for existing technical and contractual wages. Out of this an amount of ₹ 100.00 lakh is allocated to State Horticulture mission to meet the expenses related to engagement of contractual staff connected with implementation of schemes.
The planting materials will be certified by district level VDP implementing Committee to ensure quality of seeds and seedlings. Certification of the nurseries by an approved agency should be assured to ensure quality of seeds and seedlings produced. The vegetable area expansion will be implemented in close coordination with Nava Keralam Mission with clearly defined physical targets at AEU, Panchayat level and other deliverables included in the project. The Department will ensure that 33 percent of the beneficiaries under this scheme are women.