Haryana has launched a new scheme to increase vegetable production and productivity and market the produce through farmers' groups, dubbed the 'Vegetable Initiative for Urban Clusters', in Gurgaon and 11 other districts in the state.
The districts, where the scheme has been launched, include Mewat, Rewari, Palwal, Faridabad, Jhajjar, Sonepat, Panipat, Rohtak, Karnal and Kurukshetra, which are predominantly vegetable-growing clusters, in addition to Gurgaon, said a spokesman of the Haryana horticulture department.
He said Rs 12 crore had been earmarked for this purpose. The main activities that would be taken up under the scheme include the formation of farmers' groups, assistance for growing hybrid and open-pollinated vegetable crops in the open as well as under poly houses and ensuring that all inputs requirements would be through the farmers' groups or associations.
Under the scheme, the department is launching motorised and non-motorised vegetable carts equipped with cooling technology to increase the shelf-life of vegetables for supply in urban areas, as these will remain cool and fresh for a long period.
These vending carts will be supplied to local vendors and Farmers' Interest Groups at a 50% subsidy. The balance amount will be financed through banks, who will recover their costs in installments.
"This will help farmers' groups to sell their produce directly to consumers and they would get good profit. Therefore, a provision has been made for distribution of 50 mobile vending carts at a rate of 50% subsidy, that is Rs 15,000 each, and five motorised vending carts at a rate of 50% subsidy or Rs 50,000 each," he added.
Under the scheme, 250 groups of farmers having clusters of 15-20 members each have already been formed.
Two vegetable seedling productions centres — one at Rohtak and the other at Gurgaon — are being constructed at the cost of R2.08 crore to supply hybrid vegetable seedlings to farmers at 50% subsidy.