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To push horticulture farming, Gujarat unlocks barren land through leased model


In a bid to augment additional space for horticulture farming, Gujarat government has announced to allot barren government land on maximum 30-year lease to individuals and entities.

About 20,000 hectares will be provided under the ‘Mukhyamantri Bagayat Vikas Mission’, which aims to double farmers’ income through utilising government barren land for horticulture cultivation.

Announcing the scheme, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani informed that out of the 196 lakh hectares of land in Gujarat, about 50 per cent is being utilised for farming.

Nearly 50,000 acres will be provided on a 30-year lease, Rupani stated.

In the first phase, Kutch, Surendrangar, Patan, Banaskantha and Sabarkantha districts have been included.

“There is tremendous scope for horticulture development and farming of medicinal crops in fallow and unfertile lands. The State has contributed 9.2 per cent to India’s fruit and vegetable production in 2019-20. About 4.46 lakh hectares of land was utilised for sowing fruits with a total production of 92.61 lakh tonnes,” he said.

“There has been an increase of 20,000 hectares of cultivable land in the State. Regions of North Gujarat and Kutch have emerged as a hub for cultivating pomegranate, guava, dates, papaya, etc,” Rupani said.

The leased land will be considered to be ‘Deemed N.A’ for horticulture and its related activities.

As per the lease terms, a district-level committee headed by the District Collector will identify and allocate lands after a careful examination through survey numbers of unfertile and fallow lands in five districts selected by the state government in Phase-1 of this mission. A state government statement said that the applicant will be required to register and apply through the i-Khedut portal along with the necessary blueprint of land use for horticulture/ cultivation of medicinal plants.

The applicant will need to pay one-time charge as security deposit of ₹2,500. The scheme provides handholding and financial relief for the applicant, who will not need to pay rent for the initial five years. For the subsequent years, the basic rent will be ₹100 per acre, which will increase to ₹500 per acre over the years.

Power connection for the farm will be given on priority, while drip irrigation and sprinklers infrastructure can be availed with a one-time subsidy of 70 per cent, as per the norms of Gujarat Green Revolution Company Ltd. (GGRC).

The lessee will be exempted from conversion tax on the leased land, however, non-farming applicants will not be given the status of farmers, the State government said.


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