Horticulture development in the State is governed mainly through vertical growth through productivity increase, as there is limited scope for horizontal area expansion. Quality is the foundation for proper and sustainable market linkage with sustained demand and supply chain. To achieve the targets set under various segments, the interventions promoted through HMNEH has had great impacts. The programme launches in 2001-02 as Technology Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture in Northeast and Himalayan States (TMNEH) is now operational in the name of Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States (HMNEH). Even though there are some minor modification sin the operational guidelines, the objectives of the Mission remain the same with focus on establishing convergence and synergy among numerous ongoing programmes in horticulture sector. The aim of the Mission is to achieve horizontal and vertical integration of these programmes to ensure adequate, appropriate, timely and concurrent attention to all the links in production, post-harvest management and consumption chain to maximize economic, ecological and social benefits.
Bamboo is a useful group of plants, capable of providing ecological, economical and livelihood security to the people. From utilization point of view, there is no other plant as useful as bamboos to both rural and urban dwellers. This versatile group of plants find multifarious uses in day to day human life, usage crossing over 1500 ways; from the cradle to the coffin, as water containers, decorative items and as edible food item. Riverbanks and wasteland stabilization programmes also employ bamboo as it is one of the fastest growing species. It has the potential to substitute timber in finding use as construction materials and furniture items. Due to its great utility, bamboo has been more popularly known as "Green Gold". India is only second to China in richness of bamboo genetic resource. These two countries together hold more than half of the total bamboo resources distributed all over the world. It is reported that 128 species of bamboo under 23 genera are recorded in India (Seethalakshmi & Kumar 1998). The world market for bamboo is valued at US $ 10 billion.
Keeping in view of the vast untapped potential of bamboo, the Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India launched the National Bamboo Mission during the year 2006-07.
Objective of National Bamboo Mission
- To promote the growth of the bamboo sector through an area based regionally differentiated strategy;
- To increase the coverage of area under bamboo in potential areas, with suitable species to enhance yields;
- To promote marketing of bamboo and bamboo based-handicrafts;
- To establish convergence and synergy among stakeholders for the development of bamboo;
- To generate employment opportunities for skilled and unskilled persons especially unemployed youths.
- To bring more areas under cultivation of medicinal plants and generate the rural income.
- To meet the requirement of raw materials for AYUSH system of medicine.
- Increase export markets of value aided medicinal plants.
- The strategy of the Annual Action Plan 2012 - 13 is to establish sufficient numbers of nurseries for production of quality planting materials both in public and private sectors.
- Development of Human Resource by providing training within and outside the state.
- Bring more areas under areas expansion programme in the farmers' fields by utilizing the existing planting material available locally.
- Develop Post harvest infrastructure by providing drying and storage sheds, value addition, etc.
- Establishment of Medicinal processing units for extraction and chemical analysis.
- Co-ordinate with other line departments, research institutions, facilitation centers, universities to strengthen the scientific knowledge of particular medicinal plant.
- Develop the marketing linkages by establishing rural mandies, organizing buyers' and sellers' meets, attending workshop and seminars, obtaining information on market Intelligence.
- Creation of database of phytochemical analysis of medicinal plants of Sikkim.
The Mission shall promote the cultivation of high value medicinal plants in cluster villages through individuals, SHG, co-operative societies of medicinal plants growers. It is envisaged to setup post harvest structure and processing unit in the district level to support the cultivation aspects, in the cluster villages, through value addition and processing.