Kerala State Horticultural Products Development Corporation (Horticorp) is a fully owned Government Company under the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Kerala. The Company is registered with the Registrar of Companies, Kerala on the 20th day of March 1989.
Horticorp has been entrusted by the State Government with the role of procurement, processing, storage and marketing of Horticultural produces throughout the State, thus encouraging indigenous farmers to produce more vegetables and also prevent unreasonable price hikes.
Horticorp founded in 1989 has since been working for the benefit of consumers and horticultural farmers in the state. We have wide ranging mandates in the area of horticulture, including, production of inputs for qualitative improvement in horticulture, distribution of authentic planting materials to farmers, marketing of primary produces of vegetables and fruits, promotion of apiculture (beekeeping) in the State, retailing of value added products from horticulture etc.
The demand for vegetables is increasing day by day. The increase in population as well as growing awareness among the people about the importance of vegetable in the diet has contributed to this increased demand for vegetables. People are more concerned about the adverse impact on the environment and human health hazards in lieu of the unscientific method of vegetable production. The indiscriminate and unethical uses of hazardous chemicals in vegetable production as well as unhygienic and unscientific handling practices are the main reasons for this increasing concern.
Lack of a farmer-friendly distribution network and marketing system is the biggest problem faced in the vegetable production sector of Kerala. Farmers are being exploited by the organized traders and commission agents. The cool season vegetables like Potato, Carrot and Beans produced in the Vattavada and Kanthallor panchayats of Idukki district are purchased by the traders of Tamilnadu and these items reach the markets of Kerala through Madurai and other neighboring markets. The present interventions of Government agencies are not sufficiently enough to ensure a remunerative price for the vegetables. However the intervention of Horticorp for procuring vegetables directly from the farmers and marketing it through its “Haritha” network has helped farmers to a great extent in realizing a better price. Similarly the “Swasraya Karshaka Vipanies” established by the Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council , Kerala has succeeded in empowering the farmers with a bargaining power and enabled them to market their produce in an organized manner.
The Kerala State Horticultural Products Development Corporation which is the State Designated Agency under the “Development of Beekeeping for Improving Crop Productivity” scheme, since 1998, has since attained the professional competence for collection, testing, processing and marketing of honey, and honey based value added products. Also Horticorp is equipped for quality certification of raw honey and certification of processed honey. Kerala State Horticultural products Development Corporation Ltd has been identified as the State Designated Agency for implementing the Central Sector Scheme. As per the vide GO (MS) NO/345/96/AD, Government of Kerala has appointed the Corporation as the SDA for implementation of the project.
About 85% of crop plants are cross-pollinated which needs agents for effective pollination and fruit setting. Honey bees as a natural biotic pollinating agent has gained importance in the present day. In order to explore and utilize the immense resource of the pollination capability of the honey bees in cross pollinated crop, the Ministry of Agriculture took a major initiative by launching a Center Sector Scheme on Development of Beekeeping for Improving Crop Productivity (DBICP).
In its capacity as the State Designated Agency, Horticorp is undertaking the following activities:
- Conducting Bee keeping Orientation Training Programme to the beneficiaries.
- Identifying Bee breeders and providing them with grant in aid for developing bee nurseries and equipment unit to the beneficiaries at subsidized rate through selected bee breeders.
- Distributing disease free bee colonies to the beneficiaries at subsidized rate through selected bee breeders.
- Undertaking various promotional activities like exhibitions, trade fairs marketing of honey to create awareness among the people on beekeeping and use of honey.
- Establishing beekeeping consortium for organized collection testing processing and marketing of Honey.
The traditional method of processing now being adopted by Agmark licensed beekeepers and Apiculture agencies are Grade based and do not conform to standard specifications. It is high time that collection, processing and marketing of honey are under strict and approved standard specification, so that the honey and honey products could be released to international markets.
The Corporation is having its area of operation throughout Kerala and the regional activities are concentrated at regional level. Also there are Regional Procurement Centers which are the authorized centers for the procurement of vegetables and fruits to the ultimate consumers at reasonable fair price through its Haritha and other outlets.
The corporation has 14 district procurement centres /sub centres throughout the state. They are;