IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


27th February, 2023 Agriculture

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  • With the demand for foreign planting materials of fruits like apple, avocado and blueberry rising over the years, 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.
  • The aim is to boost domestic production of the selected crops.

Demand for Imported Plant Materials/Fruits

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.

There is also a jump in the number of avocado plants import permissions. In 2018, permission for import of 1,000 avocado plants was given, which increased to 26,500 in 2020. Similarly, the number of blueberry plants allowed for import has increased from 1.55 lakh in 2018 to 4.35 lakh during 2020,

Clean Plant Centres

  • These centers will be set up under the ‘Atmanirbhar Clean Plant Program’.


In Budget 2023-24, India announced to launch Atmanirbhar Clean Plant Programme with an outlay of Rs 2,200 crore to boost availability of disease-free and quality planting material for high value horticultural crops.

Finance Minister stated that an Agriculture Accelerator Fund will be set-up to encourage agri-startups by young entrepreneurs in rural areas. The Fund will aim at bringing innovative and affordable solutions for challenges faced by farmers, and will also bring in modern technologies to transform agricultural practices, increase productivity and profitability.

  • The concept of Clean Plant Centres is unique in itself and does not exist in India.
  • 10 centers will be established for fruit crops like apples, walnut, almond, grapes, mango, pomegranate, among others, with an overall budget of Rs 2,200 crore in the next seven years till 2030.
  • The centers will be fully funded by the Centre.
  • It will be implemented in a PPP mode in partnership with research organizations, agriculture universities and private sector partners.
  • The National Horticulture Board (NHB) will anchor the clean plant programme.

Importance of the Program

  • It is very difficult to get disease-free and genuine planting materials for horticultural crops in India.
  • The process of importing plants is very cumbersome, as the imported plants must be kept in quarantine for two years.
  • After the establishment of the Clean Plant Centres, this period will be reduced to six months.
  • The Clean Plant Centres will provide services of disease diagnostic, therapeutics, multiplying of plants and generation of mother plants.


Q) Which of the following statements is/are correct?

a. ‘Clean Plant Centres’, under Atmanirbhar Clean Plant Programme will be funded by the Centre and the states in a 50:50 ratio.

b. The Fund will aim at bringing innovative and affordable solutions for challenges faced by farmers, and will also bring in modern technologies to transform agricultural practices and increase productivity and profitability.

I.  Only a

II. Only b

III.Both a and b

IV. Neither a nor b

Answer: Option II