MANILA, PHILIPPINES (6 December 2023) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $98 million loan to improve horticulture crop farmers’ access to certified disease-free planting materials, which will boost their crops’ yield, quality, and resilience to climate impacts.
This project supports India’s agricultural transformation. ADB’s financing will support the Government of India’s Atmanirbhar Clean Plant Program (CPP), which was announced in February 2023 to establish clean plant centers and a certification scheme that will ensure farmers are able to purchase disease-free planting materials from private nurseries.
“Horticulture is considered as a primary engine for enhancing Indian farmers’ income due to its high value and nutritional importance. Ensuring the health of plants is vital to improve productivity of farmers, especially since India has become among the top global producers of horticulture crops,” said ADB Senior Natural Resources and Agriculture Specialist Sunae Kim. “Plant health management will also help farmers adapt to climate change, as rising temperatures not only cause extreme weather events but also affect pest and disease behavior.”
The project will establish at least six clean plant centers dedicated to maintaining disease-free foundation materials. These centers will feature laboratories equipped with cutting-edge diagnostic testing methods and will be staffed with experts who are trained in clean plant operating procedures and diagnostic testing protocols. The project will also develop regulatory frameworks for the CPP, in partnership with private nurseries and researchers. It will roll out a clean plant certification scheme, accrediting private nurseries, and testing and certifying their planting materials. The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare through the National Horticulture Board and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.