16 Nov 2012

National Horticulture Board Spreads Infrastructure for Nursery Grading;

New Delhi:(Page3 News Network)-The National Horticulture Board has expanded its nursery grading scheme to various parts of the country to spread quality culture among buyers and sellers of planting material.
In the last three years, more than 600 nurseries have applied for NHB’s grading and 250 have been given a star rank. Over 300 applications have been received so far this year and 50 out of them have been recommended by the assessment committee for a star grading. 
NHB grades nurseries on a scale of 1 to 5 stars, and the rating is valid for two years. The grading is voluntary. 
NHB receives applications for recognition of horticulture nurseries online (at http://nhb.gov.in). A technical committee followed by an assessment committee evaluate the nursery on various quality parameters. These include the source of parent material, propagation in disease free condition, adoption of good nursery management practices, reliable record keeping and training of staff. Periodic inspection is also carried out to see that nurseries maintain the standard based on which the initial grading was given. 
Nurseries can improve their grading by qualitatively upgrading their nursery and then applying to NHB for grading again.
As per an estimate, there are around 6,300 nurseries of varying sizes, selling nearly 8.5 million items of planting material. It is expected that only those nurseries that are confident of their quality would apply for a star rating. On the other hand, a high star ranking gives the buyer the surety of getting true-to-type, disease-free and robust planting material and this in turn gives higher sales, better prices and consumer loyalty to the nursery. 

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