To strategically involve and integrate small farmers engaged in the hi-tech horticulture ventures through specific clusters in various agro climatic zones of The Nilgiris District of Tamil Nadu with clear focus on production of quality cut flowers, premium vegetables and exotic fruits under under one brand.
The Promotion of Hi-tech Floriculture Cluster Zones in The Nilgiris.
This integrated initiative has been implemented since 2004 with 100 floriculture units of 500 sq mtrs area with 100 small farmers. Now 10 Floriculture Clusters are in place in the Nilgiris today covering 3 lakh sq mtrs under green houses and many premium cut flowers such as Lilium. Carnation, Gerbera, etc., are grown and marketed at farmer-fixed prices. Around 1500 small farmers and 3000 families are benefited by the cluster initiatives.
The average annual income from cut flower production in 2004 was Rs.3.00 crore. Now the average income from this venture to the Nilgiris District is approximately Rs.35.00 crore.
This model has impacted many others into this sector from other nearby areas like Coimbatore, Erode, Salem, Kodaikanal, Kerala, etc., to venture into this green-field
trade in their places also.
The Establishment of Cold Storage and Post Harvest Management Systems.
This cluster-based project has also paved ways for importing planting materials directly from Holland in refrigerated containers at -1.5 Degree Celsius and stored in cold storages established by small farmers in many cluster zones right at their farm gates thereby eliminating losses in pre and post harvest conditions.
The Significant Benefits to the Small Farmers.
1.The small farmers have been integrated, a strong back bone and team work having clear focus-Initiation-Implementation-Improvement-Innovation- Income Generation on sustainable approaches thereby saving around 30% of cost of the farmers project without compromising quality parameters.
2. Easy and integrated access to land acquisitions by long term lease, competitive bank rates, technical training programmes of the government, government subsidies under NHM schemes, etc.,
3.The farmers have become price-fixers and not price-takers since many buyers are buying flowers right from the farm gates of many clusters of the district.
The Establishment of Premium Vegetable and Fruits Cluster Zones.
The Nilgiris Districts’ economy is fully dependent on horticultural produces and tea since many decades. While all infrastructure and marketing facilities have been created for the tea sector,but, nothing of that sort has been done for the main horticultural produces such as Premium Vegetables and Exotic Fruits grown in the Nilgiris District by the small farmers.
There are around 20000 small farmers growing premium vegetables such as Ooty Potato, Carrot, Beans, Cauliflowers, Green Peas, Beet Roots, Iceberg, Brocolli, Chinese Cabbage, Leeks, Celeries,etc., exotic fruits such as Plums, Peaches, Pears, Mangostein, Avocado, Durian, Persimon, etc., The total value of these produces is approximately Rs.1100 crore at farm gate.
Our Consortium has already established cluster level farmers clubs by involving 2000 small farmers in various vegetables clusters and forward linkages with the market place for providing total farm to market solutions like the above floriculture project model and is set to establish required state of the art infrastructure facilities at a prominent vegetable Cluster at Ooty having good agricultural practice methods, complete grading lines, pack houses, cold chains, supply chains, marketing channels, value added products, etc., and implementing its initiatives for the sustainable income levels of the farming community of The Nilgiris in the years to come.
Awards and Recognitions for above projects.
1. Florex India National Level Award in 2007, presented by Shri.Sharad Pawar, Union Agriculture Minister, Govt of India for cluster based commercial horticulture ventures for the country’s economic development.
2. Annual Ooty Floral Carnival in 2009 First Prize Cups, presented by Shri.Ramachandran, State Minister, Govt of Tamil Nadu for commercial floriculture and vegetable initiatives.
3. Bharat Excellence Award with Gold Medal of FFI in 2012, presented by Dr.G.V.G.Krishnamoorthi, Former Election Commissioner,Govt of India for the growth of Indian Economy.
4. Inspiring Pillar of India Award with Gold Medal of FFI in 2012, presented by Dr.Premnath, Former Deputy Director General, United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (UN-FAO) for successful achievements and contributions in the chosen fields.
Presented by—H.N.SIVAN, Promoter Director&CEO,
Nilgiris Horti-Tech Company Private Limited,(Nilgiris Horticulture Consortium)
Golflinks, Kotagiri, The Nilgiris-643217.Tamil Nadu.