- Procurement and Sales of Vegetables
Horticorp collects fresh and non-toxic vegetables from farmers and sells them to customers at reasonable price. The selling of vegetables is done through Haritha stalls located all over Kerala. The vegetables are either procured directly from farmers or through Karshaka Sanghams. This helps to avoid mediator- based exploitation. Horticorp has district offices in every district of Kerala except Kasargod. All the vegetables and products available in the Haritha stalls are guaranteed to be non-toxic. The stalls are open every day from 8am to 8pm.
2. Supply of vegetables and fruits to government institutions and schools
3. Marketing of planting material
4. Marketing of vegetables through mobile units
5. Value Added Products
Horticorp introduces value added products such as potato chips, banana chips and tapioca chips made in pure coconut oil.
6. Bee Keeping Activities by Horticorp
For promoting beekeeping activities in the State, Horticorp acts as the State Designated Agency for implementing the Central Sector Scheme ‘Development of Bee-keeping for Improving Crop Productivity’ since 1998. There are two components under this scheme, 1) Pollination Support and 2) Assistance to Honey Production.
Pollination Support through Beekeeping
Bee keeping is a prospective agro based enterprise providing subsidiary income to majority of people in the rural areas. Apart from being a major profitable enterprise in the agriculture sector, honey bees play the role of being a pollinator of crops thereby improving crop production. There is great potential for beekeeping in the State due to the diversified flora available which is well suited to bees.
The reproduction in plants is completed when the pollen from one flower reaches another flower. Honey bees act as natural biotic pollinating agents. The plants and trees that have maximum number of pollinators will give the highest yield. Hence bee keeping is considered to be a great asset in the growth of agriculture. Horticorp is dedicated to promote bee keeping endeavors.
Kerala was contributing to a major share of honey production in the country till 1990s. The catastrophic outbreak of Thai Sac Brood virus disease in 1990s drastically reduced honey production in the State. About 85% of crop plants are cross- pollinated which needs agents for effective pollination and fruit setting. Cardamom, cashew, coffee, vegetables and other crops are benefited by bee assisted pollination which in turn supplement for yield enhancement to a tune of 20-40 percent.
Food security, food diversity and productivity enhancement can be ensured through promotion of beekeeping in all the districts of Kerala. Hence beekeeping may be considered as an essential component of crop husbandry practices and thus an integral part of agriculture.
- To promote beekeeping thereby enhancing honey production in the state.
- To increase crop productivity through enhanced pollination support through honey bees.
- To create awareness about the medicinal and nutritional value of honey.
- Generating employment opportunity.
- Women empowerment
- To enhance the income generation of farming community and improve their living standards.
- To safeguard the health of the public.
- To motivate children and youth
- To ensure food security, food diversity and productivity enhancement of crops.
Assistance to Honey Production
This is a major component of the Central Scheme implemented by Kerala Horticorp to support honey growers and promote production of value added honey products. The scheme has a fund of Rs.150 lakhs for carrying out various components of the scheme.
Orientation training programme of 4 days duration incorporating the required scientific and practical aspects of bee rearing and development, different species and types, multiplication, day to day care and management of bees, colony division, honey collection, uses and medicinal properties of honey, its processing, other value added products and by-products of Apiculture etc are given to the interested farmers before the actual distribution of bee colonies. The number of participants per batch is limited to 40. Experts from the field will lead the classes.
Distribution of bee colonies
Superior quality bee colonies produced by the selected breeders would be distributed to the farmers. The cost of superior quality queen and colonies is high and in order to encourage the purchase of the bee colonies, subsidy support is provided.
Horticorp provides 4 day long refresher trainings for those who are involved in scientific bee keeping. To keep them equipped with the latest trends and methods of beekeeping, Horticorp plans to conduct refresher training programmes for 40 batches in a year.
follow up training sessions are offered by the Horticorp to give proper guidance after the distribution of bee colonies. Horticorp conducts two follow up trainings each of 2 days duration to the beneficiaries in 2 seasons after the distribution of colonies.