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What’s in today’s article?

● Why in News?


● What is Horticulture Cluster Development Program (CDP)?

● What is e-RUPI?

Why in News?

The government has come up with a new platform to disburse subsidies to horticulture farmers under the Cluster Development Programme (CDP) — the Centre’s initiative to promote horticulture crops. The platform is known as CDP-SURAKSHA.


  • About
    • The CDP-SURAKSHA is essentially a digital platform. SURAKSHA stands for “System for Unified Resource Allocation, Knowledge, and Secure Horticulture Assistance.”
    • The platform will allow an instant disbursal of subsidies to farmers in their bank account by utilising the e-RUPI voucher from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI).
  • Features
    • The CDP-SURAKSHA has features such as:
      • database integration with PM-KISAN,
      • cloud-based server space from NIC,
      • UIDAI validation,
      • eRUPI integration,
      • local government directory (LGD),
      • content management system, geotagging, and geo-fencing.
  • Difference from the old system
    • In the old system, a farmer had to buy planting materials on their own. They would then have to approach the officials concerned for the release of the subsidy.
    • The CDP-SURAKSHA platform, however, will provide subsidies to farmers upfront, at the time of purchasing the planting material.
    • Vendors, who will supply planting materials to farmers, will receive their payment only after farmers verify the delivery of their orders.
  • Need
    • CDP-SURAKSHA seeks to push the growth of India’s horticulture sector.
    • This sector contributes nearly one-third to the agriculture gross value addition (GVA), making a substantial contribution to the Indian economy.
    • The total production of horticulture crops has also spiked in recent years.
  • While in 2010-11, it stood at 240.53 million tonnes, the number rose to 334.60 million tonnes in 2020-21.

What is Horticulture Cluster Development Program (CDP)?

  • About
    • The CDP is part of NHB's (National Horticulture Board) central sector scheme.
    • It aims to develop and grow horticulture clusters to make them globally competitive.
    • The program is designed to leverage the geographical specialization of horticulture clusters and support the horticulture value chain from preproduction to marketing activities.
  • Aim
    • Increase exports of targeted crops by about 20%
    • Create cluster-specific brands to improve the competitiveness of cluster crops
    • Reduce harvest and post-harvest losses by developing, expanding, and upgrading the infrastructure for post-harvest handling of produce,
    • Boost farmers' income
  • Current status
    • So far, 55 horticulture clusters have been identified, out of which 12 have been selected for the pilot. These clusters are in different stages of development.
    • Four more clusters — a floriculture cluster in West Bengal, coconut clusters in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, and white onion clusters in Gujarat — are also in the pipeline.
  • Future goal
    • According to the government, about 9 lakh hectares of area will be covered through all 55 clusters, covering 10 lakh farmers.
    • It is estimated that the initiative will attract private investment of Rs 8,250 crore, in addition to the government’s assistance, which is fixed according to the size of the cluster.
    • The assistance include:
      • up to Rs 25 crore for mini cluster (size up to 5,000 ha),
      • up to Rs 50 crore for medium clusters (5,000 to 15,000), and
      • up to Rs 100 crore for mega clusters (more than 15,000 ha).

What is e-RUPI?

  • About
  • e-RUPI is basically a digital voucher which a beneficiary gets on his phone in the form of an SMS or QR code. 
  • It is a pre-paid voucher, which he/she can go and redeem at any centre that accepts its.
    • E.g., - if the Government wants to cover a particular treatment of an employee in a specified hospital, it can issue an e-RUPI voucher for the determined amount through a partner bank. 
    • The employee will receive an SMS or a QR Code on his feature phone / smart phone. 
    • He/she can go to the specified hospital, avail of the services and pay through the e-RUPI voucher received on his phone.
    • Basically, e-RUPI is a one time contactless, cashless voucher-based mode of payment that helps users redeem the voucher without a card, digital payments app, or internet banking access.
    • The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), which oversees the digital payments ecosystem in India, has launched e-RUPI.
    • It has been developed in collaboration with the Department of Financial Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and National Health Authority.
  • Not a Digital Currency
    • e-RUPI should not be confused with Digital Currency launched by the Reserve Bank of India.
    • Instead, e-RUPI is a person specific, even purpose specific digital voucher.
  • Benefits
    • For consumers
      • e-RUPI does not require the beneficiary to have a bank account, a major distinguishing feature as compared to other digital payment forms.
      • It ensures an easy, contactless two-step redemption process that does not require sharing of personal details either.
      • Another advantage is that e-RUPI is operable on basic phones. Hence, it can be used by people who do not own smart-phones.
    • For the sponsors
      • e-RUPI is expected to play a major role in strengthening Direct-Benefit Transfer and making it more transparent. 
      • Since there is no need for physical issuance of vouchers, it will also lead to some cost savings as well.
    • For the Service Providers
      • Being a prepaid voucher, e-RUPI would assure real time payments to the service provider.

Q.1. What is National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)?

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) is a non-profit organization that manages India's retail payments and settlement systems. The Reserve Bank of India and the Indian Banks' Association founded the NPCI in 2008, and it is headquartered in Mumbai.

Q.2. What is public-private partnership (PPP)?

A public-private partnership (PPP) is a long-term collaboration between a government agency and a private-sector company to finance, build, and operate projects. PPPs are often used for public infrastructure projects like parks, convention centers, public transportation networks, airports, power plants, and telecommunications systems.

Source: What is CDP-SURAKSHA, govt’s new digital platform to disburse subsidies to horticulture farmers?


National Horticulture Board