In news–The Union Government is planning to launch an Atmanirbhar Clean Plant Program with an outlay of Rs. 2,200 crore.
What is Clean Plant Program?
- It seeks to boost availability of disease-free, quality planting material for high value horticultural crops.
- Under this program, the Centre plans to set up 10 ‘Clean Plant Centres’, on the lines of those in developed countries such as the US, Netherlands and Israel, to boost domestic production of the selected crops.
- The concept of Clean Plant Centres is unique in itself and does not exist in India.
- 10 centres will be established for fruit crops like apple, walnut, almond, grapes, mango, pomegranate, among others, with an overall budget of Rs 2,200 crore in the next seven years till 2030.
- The Clean Plant Centres will provide services of disease diagnostic, therapeutics, multiplying of plants and generation of mother plants.
- The centres will be fully funded by the Centre.
- It will be implemented in a PPP mode in partnership with research organisations, agriculture universities and private sector partners.
- The National Horticulture Board (NHB) will anchor the clean plant programme.
Demand for imported planting material in India-
- The demand for imported planting material of various fruit plants has risen sharply over the years.
- According to a source, the permissions given by the EXIM committee for import of planting material of fruits during 2018-2020 show that in 2018, 21.44 lakh apple plants were imported, which increased to 49.57 lakh in 2020.
- Besides, fruit plants of banana, date palm, kiwi, pomegranate, raspberry, strawberry, walnut, winegrape, grape, guava, olive, peach, pear and plum plants are also being imported in the country,