Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Shri Radha Mohan Singh said research and development projects in horticulture crops have yielded encouraging results, as a result, the production of horticulture crops have been more than food grains irrespective of adverse climatic conditions. After China, India is the second largest producer of horticultural crops and fruits. The Agriculture Minister said it on 17th December, 2017 at the World Orange Day 2017 event in Nagpur.
Shri Singh said more than 9 crore metric ton of fruits on 63 lakhs hectare land were produced during 2015-16. According to an estimate, a production of 30 crore metric ton horticulture crops on 2.5 crore hectare land is expected during 2016-17 in which contribution of fruit is significant. The record achievement includes 42 million ton of fruit production on 65 lakh hectare land. In terms of area in India, the citrus fruits hold second position (10.37 lakh hectare) and third (12 million tonnes) in production.
The Agriculture Minister said keeping in view the importance of orchards in maintaining nutrient security, providing employment and conserving the environment, Agriculture Ministry is implementing Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture across the nation. The School of Horticultural Sciences department of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), along with its 23 institutes, 11 All India Coordinated Research projects and 2 All India Network projects are providing necessary technical cooperation and scientific research assistance to the horticulture mission.
Shri Singh said that Government established a Central Citrus Research Institute (CCRI) in Nagpur in 1985 with an objective to develop research and necessary techniques for citrus fruits and in 1986 it was upgraded to National Research Centre for Citrus. He said that in 2014, the present central government upgraded this centre to the central institute.
Shri Singh said ICAR is implementing All India Coordinated Fruits Crop Research Project in 10 centres of 8 states viz. Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Karnataka. Keeping in view the needs of the specific area, necessary research, technical training, and demonstration are being carried out on citrus fruits. In the last 4 years, the Government has allocated a sum of Rs.23 crore to these centres.