MNREGA: Women Self Help Groups to operate 150 hi-tech nurseries in UP

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Lucknow: To serve the dual purpose of boosting horticulture and improving rural livelihoods, the Uttar Pradesh government has decided to establish 150 hi-tech nurseries, which will be based on Israeli technology under the MNREGA scheme.

The operation of these hi-tech nurseries will be done by the women of Self Help Groups formed under the Uttar Pradesh State Rural Livelihood Mission.

Under the scheme, two hi-tech nurseries are being developed in each district to grow fruits like plum, pomegranate, jackfruit, lemon, mango, guava, moringa, dragon-fruit etc. and several vegetables as per the demands based on the local geographical conditions and surrounding areas.

The government seeks to grow quality saplings and seeds at the excellence centres as well as hi-tech nurseries to increase production of quality crops.

The objective behind the government’s move is also to provide sufficient crops for the increasing number of food processing industries.

It is to be noted that the Indo-Israel Centre for Excellence has been established in Basti and Kannauj for fruits and vegetables respectively, so that farmers can get quality seedlings.

These 150 hi-tech nurseries will be set up in the Krishi Vigyan Kendras of the state, campus of agricultural universities, research center of the Horticulture Department so that farmers can be trained easily. As per the estimate of Horticulture Department the average cost of high-tech nursery will be nearly Rs 1 crore.

These nurseries will be equipped with infrastructure facilities like proper fencing, irrigation facility, Hi-Tech Green House among others and will be maintained through CLF (Cluster Level Federation)/ other groups of State Rural Livelihood Mission.

The plants produced from these nurseries will be sold to the interested local farmers, farmers’ production organizations (FPOs) at the regional level, other private nurseries at the state level, at the national level for the plantation of various state governments and those of other states.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has set ambitious targets to increase the area of cultivation of horticultural crops from 11.6 per cent to 16 per cent and food processing units from 6 per cent to a whopping 20 per cent during the next five years in order to enhance the overall yield as well as processing of fruits, vegetables and spices.

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