Horticulture Cluster Development Programme (CDP)


  • The government has come up with a new platform to disburse subsidies to horticulture farmers under the Cluster Development Programme (CDP) known as CDP-SURAKSHA


  • The CDP-SURAKSHA is essentially a digital platform. SURAKSHA stands for “System for Unified Resource Allocation, Knowledge, and Secure Horticulture Assistance.”
  • The platform will allow an instant disbursal of subsidies to farmers in their bank account by utilising the e-RUPI voucher from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
  • The voucher is a one-time payment mechanism that can be redeemed without a card, digital payments app or internet banking access, at the merchants accepting e-RUPI.
  • e-RUPI can be shared with the beneficiaries for a specific purpose or activity by organisations or government via SMS or QR code. • Significance: The CDP-SURAKSHA platform will provide subsidies to farmers upfront, at the time of purchasing the planting material.
  • Vendors, who will supply planting materials to farmers, will receive their payment only after farmers verify the delivery of their orders.
  • The move seeks to push the growth of India’s horticulture sector.

Horticulture Sector in India

  • Horticulture is the science and art of cultivating fruits, vegetables, flowers, and ornamental plants.
  • It encompasses a wide range of activities including plant propagation, production, management, and marketing.
  • The Indian horticulture sector contributes about 33% to the agriculture Gross Value Added (GVA) making a very significant contribution to the Indian economy.
  • India is currently producing about 320.48 million tons of horticulture produce which has surpassed the food grain production, that too from a much less area.
  • The productivity of horticulture crops is much higher compared to the productivity of food grains.
  • At present, India is the second largest producer of vegetables and fruits in the world.
  • India ranks first in the production of several crops like Banana, Lime & Lemon, Papaya, and Okra.
  • India’s advantage lies in being a low-cost producer of fruits and vegetables because of a combination of factors such as favourable agro-climatic conditions, availability of labour, and low input costs.
  • As a result, fruits and vegetables account for almost 90% of the total horticulture production in the country.

Challenges Faced by the Sector

  • Lack of Infrastructure: Insufficient infrastructure for post-harvest handling, storage, and transportation leads to significant losses of perishable horticultural produce.
  • Water Management: Horticulture is water-intensive, and water scarcity or inefficient water management practices affect crop yields and quality.
  • Pest and Disease Management: Pests and diseases cause significant damage to horticultural crops, and the misuse of pesticides lead to environmental pollution and health
  • Market Linkages: Limited market linkages and price fluctuations affect farmers’ income and discourage investment in horticultural production.
  • Climate Change: Erratic weather patterns, including unpredictable rainfall and temperature fluctuations, pose challenges to horticultural production and require adaptation strategies.
  • Quality Standards and Certification: Meeting quality standards and obtaining certification for export markets can be challenging for small-scale horticultural producers.

Government of India Initiatives for the Promotion of Horticulture Sector

  • National Horticulture Mission (NHM): Launched in 2005-06, NHM aims to promote holistic growth of the horticulture sector by enhancing production, productivity, and quality of horticulture crops.
  • It focuses on creating infrastructure, providing technical assistance, and promoting market linkages.
  • National Horticulture Board (NHB): NHB provides financial assistance, technical guidance, and market intelligence to horticulture growers, processors, and exporters to promote the production, processing, and marketing of horticultural crops.
  • Cluster Development Program (CDP): The CDP is a component of the central sector scheme of NHB.
  • It is aimed at leveraging the geographical specialization of horticulture clusters and promoting integrated and market-led development of pre-production, production, post-harvest, logistics, branding, and marketing activities.
  • So far, 55 horticulture clusters have been identified, out of which 12 have been selected for the pilot.
  • Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH): MIDH, launched in 2014, integrates various horticulture development schemes under one umbrella to provide holistic support for the entire value chain, from pre-production to post-harvest management and marketing.
  • Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY): RKVY supports states in planning, implementing, and monitoring their horticulture development strategies by providing financial assistance for infrastructure development, capacity building, and other interventions.
  • Sub-Mission on Agriculture Mechanization (SMAM): SMAM supports the adoption of mechanization in horticulture for activities like land preparation, planting, harvesting, and post-harvest management to improve efficiency and reduce labor dependency.