Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Minister Shri Sharad Pawar informed members of Parliamentary Consultative Committee attached to his ministry that Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States (HMNEH) has helped in increasing the production of fruits and vegetables in HMNEH states from 10.1 mt. in 2001-02 to 16.5 mt. in 2012-13.
The Minister said that an evaluation study on the performance of the HMNEH activities was conducted through the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad during 2012-13 and their report has indicated a positive impact on development of horticulture with the launching of HMNEH.
The enhanced production of fruit and vegetable in the country has increased the per capita availability of these items. India has emerged as a leader in the production of mango, banana, guava, papaya and okra. The earning from the export of horticulture produce has increased from the level of Rs. 150 crore in 1991-92 to Rs. 9000 crore in 2011-12.
The Minister expressed the hope that horticulture will see a double-digit growth rate in horticulture during the 12th plan period. The Minister said that cultivation of horticultural crops results in high returns per unit of land and better employment opportunities, and is a potential source of foreign exchange. Horticulture also enables optimum utilization of land resources in an eco-friendly manner. The HMNEH scheme envisages an end to end approach covering a variety of intervention involving production and productivity enhancement, post-harvest management, and marketing and processing. The mission is being implemented in all the districts of North-East and Himalayan States.