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Production and distribution of nucleus planting materials

1. Production and distribution of nucleus planting materials of spices

The Mission programmes on spices implemented in different states such as area expansion, replanting, rejuvenation etc. requires sizeable quantity of quality planting materials of the respective spicecrops.  In order to meet the requirement of various planting materials for the development programmes, small nurseries are proposed to be established in the selected locations on the identified spices and aromatic crops.  Quite a good number of varieties of various spices and aromatic crops have been evolved from various Research Centres. However, adequate quantities of planting materials of these varieties are not supplied to the State Departments for large scale multiplication and distribution to the farmers, even after the long period of their releases, due to lack of sufficient infrastructure and funds available at the crop improvement centres.   As a result, the planting material production programmes of the State Governments are mostly limited to the available stock of materials, which may not be able to generate the desired impact in the production front.  The ICAR vision document 2050 also stresses the need to increase the nucleus planting material production.

Availability of good quality planting material is the key to the success of spice cultivation as it accounts for about 40% of total cost of production in ginger and turmeric and the long-standing crop of black pepper and tree spices. Hence selection of quality material for planting and its storage till the planting season is very important.

Availability of good quality planting material of high yielding varieties is negligible compared to the demand. In order to improve the situation, DASD has directly taken up nucleus planting material production programme with all the available released high yielding varieties by building up the required facilities in the Research Farms attached to the SAUs, ICAR Institutes etc.  The Directorate assesses the requirement of nucleus planting materials well in advance for various State Horticulture Mission Programmes. All the selected spice crops under these programmes assigned to the State Governments are included for planting material production under DASD programme. The nucleus planting materials produced are supplied for further multiplication to the State Governments/farmers based on their requirements for various programmes in subsequent year. Wherever Certification Standards are not available, Truth Full Labeled (TFL) seeds will be produced with due care given on all the quality parameters. The nucleus materials are to be produced by SAUs/ ICAR institutes on firm indents and distributed following the norms of the SAU / ICAR Institutes. 100% assistance is provided to the SAUs / Central Institutes for taking up these programmes. It would be the responsibility of the producing agencies to ensure quality of the planting material produced by them.

The quantity of nucleus planting materials of the spice crops proposed to be produced during 2020-21, the unit cost of production, physical target for the year and financial requirement thereon are given below.

Table 1. Production of nucleus planting materials – physical target and financial allocation





Cost per unit (Rs in Lakhs)

Physical Target


(Rs in lakhs)


Black Pepper / Betelvine

Nos in lakhs





Ginger rhizomes

Quantity in (tonnes)





Ginger protray seedlings

Nos in lakhs





Turmeric rhizomes

Quantity in (tonnes)





Turmeric protray seedlings

Nos in lakhs





Chilli seeds

Quantity (quintals)





Seed spices

Quantity (tonnes)






Quantity (tonnes)





Bush Pepper

Nos in lakhs






Tree spices grafts/seedlings



a. Nutmeg grafts



Nos in lakhs






Nos in lakhs





b. Tamarind / Kokum grafts

Nos in lakhs





c. Clove /Allspice seedlings

Nos in lakhs





d. Cinnamon /Cassia /Curry leaf seedlings

Nos in lakhs





Aromatic Plants












2. Small nursery for spices and aromatic plants

The Directorate also proposes to setup small nurseries (1 ha) in National Research Institutes/Agricultural Universities to generate sufficient quality planting materials of spices and aromatic plants which are in good demand in the domestic industries and also for the export.  The nurseries will be having provision for naturally ventilated green houses and net houses and it should meet the specific standards of a model nursery with the capacity to produce a minimum 25,000 numbers of the planting material per hectare duly certified for its quality.  The nurseries proposed under this programme need to be got accredited by DASD immediately after its establishment.   It is proposed to setup 4 Nos of small nurseries in selected SAUs and reputed NGOs where adequate nucleus planting materials of released varieties are available.

3. Upgradation of spice nurseries

Non-availability of quality planting material has been identified as one of the most important factors that has restricted the production and productivity of horticultural crops. In spices also, the major constraints in production is inadequate availability of quality planting material.   With a view to ensure availability of genuine (true to types) and quality planting material, Government of India has introduced a system of Nursery Accreditation, wherein nurseries are graded based on their infrastructure and capacity to produce quality planting material.  The Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development (DASD) has been entrusted with the accreditation of Nurseries of Spices Crops in the country.

Both private and public sector nurseries are involved in catering to the need of the farmers but very few nurseries qualify the norms required for accreditation of nurseries.  They lack the modern infrastructure which plays a major role in ensuring quality of planting material.  Therefore, it is very essential that the infrastructure of the existing nurseries be strengthened to meet the accreditation norms and improve their capacity to produce quality planting material.  If the financial assistance is provided to the nurseries for upgradation, the availability of quality planting material can be improved in the country.

Objective :

1. To strengthen the infrastructure of the existing nurseries to meet the accreditation norms and to ensure production and supply of good quality disease free planting material of desired high yielding varieties;

2. To develop a network of accredited nurseries to fulfill the requirement of planting material of the spice growers. 

Technical Programme:

Non-availability of quality planting material had been a major bottleneck in improving the production and productivity of spices crop.  Govt./Public Sector nurseries could hardly cater to 10-15% of the total requirement of planting material in the spices sector.  The rest has to be met through private sector.  Poor quality planting material supplied by private nurseries cause great loss to the farmers especially in perennial crops where they realize the truth only after couple of years.  Genuinity of the variety and health of the planting material raised are two important factors that determine the quality of planting material.  These two factors can be addressed only if there is required infrastructure in the nurseries.

As the price of the Black Pepper and Nutmeg improved, the demand for planting material increased and hundreds of small unregulated private nurseries spanned in these tracts which started selling planting material of poor quality and at high price, leaving the farmers a disgruntled lot.  There are a number of genuine nursery men who wish to produce quality planting material but do not have the financial resources to acquire the infrastructure required to do so.

In this Scheme, the Directorate attempt to help the nurseries both in public and private sector to build up their infrastructure and develop their capability to produce good quality planting material.  The important component required as infrastructure are soil solarization unit, work shed for mixing potting mixture, the mist chambers for root and shoot development, poly houses for giving right environment for growth, hardening sheds, irrigation facility etc.  The most important of all this is the mother block which is the source of the propagule used for planting material.             

Through this Scheme, the Directorate will rope in good number of nurseries into the loop of accredited nurseries thereby creating a national level capability and set standards for the production of quality planting material in spices thereby catering to the ever-increasing demand of quality planting material among the spices farmers.  This will have an effect on the income levels of farmers and would spurt an increase in production and productivity of spices at the national level.  

Working Procedure:

Any individual nursery men/public sector organization is eligible for claiming financial assistance provided under this programme on ‘first cum first serve basis’ and subject to the availability of funds.  The financial assistance will be given as back ended subsidy.  For private nursery men, it is essential that they obtain bank loan for the above purpose and the eligible subsidy will be credited to the loan accounts on completion of the work.  Under the Scheme, both upgradation of nurseries through addition of new structure/equipments and renovation of the existing structure/equipment will be considered.  The proposal submitted should be of a maximum of Rs.10 lakhs for a nursery of 4 ha. area.  For Public Sector 100% subsidy can be given.  For private sector 50% subsidy may be given upto a maximum of Rs.5 lakhs per nursery.  

The most commonly required components are listed in table below with the cost norms that apply for it.

Table 2. Components for nursery upgradation




Rate of assistance

Upgradation of nurseries to meet the accreditation norms


White polythene sheet 50 microns thickness (for solarisation)




Workshed construction 13mx6.6m

85.8 sq.m

2160/ sq.m


Establishment of motherblock and maintenance for 2 years/ strengthening

1 acre



Fertigation unit for the motherblock

1 acre



Mist chamber/ hardening unit

60 sq.m

2500/- sq.m


Establishment of new poly house

500 sq.m



Establishment of shade ne t house

500 sq.m



Equipments/ machinaries

  • Trolley mounted power sprayer
  • Trolley for transportation of plants and others


50 lit





Renovation of the existing structure


Renovation of the existing structure

UV sheet

Aluminium locking profile

50%shade net



500 sq.m








Applications will be processed at the level of the Directorate and disposed off.  The application with components which are not listed in the above table will be given for processing to a one-man committee appointed by the Directorate with the approval of the Ministry, who will submit his recommendation. 

Application for availing assistance under this scheme shall be submitted in the prescribed form with the following documents (private nurseries): -

(1)  The project proposal along with the layout of the nursery showing the location of the infrastructure components, land utilization plan;

 (2)    Copy of possession certificate of land.

On receipt of the application, an officer of the Directorate will conduct a preliminary inspection, if the component requested are the one listed above, and submit the recommendation.  In case the components are other than the one listed above; it will be referred to a one-man committee appointed by the Directorate.   If eligible, the applicant would be issued a permit letter.  The applicant will then have to approach a Bank for availing bank loan.  On completion of the work, an officer of the Directorate will conduct a final inspection and recommend for release of subsidy.  The subsidy will finally be released to the loan account of the applicant.


4. Production of Nucleus Planting Material of Betelvine in Bundelkhand Region, Uttar Pradesh

Mahoba district of UP is major betel vine producing area of Bundelkhand which involves around 620 to 700 farming families exclusively involved in pan cultivation. Bangla, Calcuttia, Kapuri are the major promising varieties of betelvine cultivated in Bundelkhand region. There is a well-established market for the Betel leaf of this area which creates scope for area expansion. The traditional area under cultivation of this crop has declined substantially during the recent years due to several factors. Betel leaf cultivation requires regular watering: four times a day in summer and twice a week in winters. The traditional areas of pan cultivation aresituated near water sources, but the prolonged drought has dried up most ponds and dug wells in Mahoba.Non-Availability of quality planting material have also been listed as a major issue faced by growers in this area. The Directorate propose to establish nucleus planting material production centre for betelvine at Mahoba in association with the BUAT, Banda with the following objectives.

•To provide disease free planting material of promising cultivars.

•To introduce advanced technologies in betel production.

•To supplement the efforts for area expansion of betelvine.

Betelvine plants will be raised in bareja system (closed structure) under shadenet structure of 500 sq m at Regional Research Station, Belatal, Mahoba district. As the area is facing shortage of water, provision for borewell is also made under the programme. It is estimated that an amount of Rs. 11.25 Lakhs may be required for establishment of the structure. Component wise split up is provided in the table below.

Table 3. Establishment cost for shadenet structure for raising Betelvine baroj



Materials required

Per unit cost

(Rs. in Lakh)


Construction of 500 sq.mBareja




Shade Net 1 No. (500 sq.m. each)




Planting material

5000 cuttings



Operational Cost








Deep Borewell







Rupees - Eleven Lakh Twenty Five Thousand only


5. Seed processing and storage infrastructure

The seeds produced at the seed production centres have to be stored properly after various processing treatments for a reasonable period of time ranging from 3 to 9 months, requiring adequate storage facilities. In order to facilitate proper handling, processing, storage and packaging of seeds, assistance would be provided for creating infrastructure like drying platforms; threshing, cleaning, winnowing and grading machineries; desiccators; storage structures / storage bins; packaging units and other related equipments.  A lump sum amount of Rs. 10 lakhs is provided to establish these facilities. 100% assistance will be provided to the SAUs and ICAR Institutes assigned with seed production programme. This programme is being implemented since 2005-06 under NHM and has contributed significantly in the development of seed processing infrastructure and storage facilities in various SAUs and Central Institutes. During 2020-21, the facility will be provided at 5 centres based on the project submitted by them.