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.
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.