Scope Of Horticulture Crops
India, with its diverse soil and climate comprising several agro- ecological regions, provides an opportunity to grow a variety of horticultural crops. These crops form a significant part of total agriculture produce in the country comprised of fruits, vegetables, flowers, ornamentals, medicinal and aromatic crops, plantation crops, spices and condiments. Horticulture crops play a unique role in India’s economy by improving the income of the rural people.
Cultivation of these crops is an intensive labor which generated employment opportunities for the rural population. India’s area under horticultural crops touched 2.1million hectares (21.03 lakh hectare). With regard to fruits, India is the second largest producer of fruits after China. A large variety of fruit crops are grown in India. Of these, mango, banana, citrus, papaya, guava, pineapple, sapota, jackfruit, litchi, grapes, apple, pear, peach, plum, walnut etc. are the important ones. India accounts for 10 per cent of the total world production of fruits.
The leading fruit growing states are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. In regard to vegetables, many vegetables belonging to solanaceaeous, cucurbitaceous, leguminous, cruciferous, root crops and leafy vegetables are grown in Indian tropical, sub-tropical and temperate regions. Most of the important vegetables grown in India are onion, tomato, potato, brinjal, peas, beans, okra, chilli, cabbage, cauliflower, bottle gourd, cucumber, watermelon, carrot, radish etc. India
ranks second in vegetable production next to China in case of area and production contributing 13.38 % to the total world production. India occupies first position in cauliflower, second in onion, third in cabbage in the world. In India, West Bengal, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Karnataka are the important states for horticultural crop production.
Among these state West Bengal has first rank in Area and Production. Flowers are indispensible part of the Indian festivals. In India, flower cultivation is being practiced since ages. It is an important/integral part of socio-cultural and religious life of Indian people. It has taken a shape of industry in recent years. India is known for growing traditional flowers such as jasmine, marigold, chrysanthemum, tuberose, crossandra, aster, etc. Commercial cultivation of cut flowers like, rose, orchids, gladiolus, carnation,
anthurium, gerbera is also being done. The important flower growing states are Tamil Nadu,
Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Sikkim, Jammu & Kashmir, Meghalaya, etc.
The importance of plantation crops is immense in terms earning foreign exchange. This is one of the important sectors contributing about Rs.7,500 crores of export earnings. The major plantation crops include coconut, arecanut, oil palm, cashew, tea coffee, rubber cocoa, betel vine, vanilla etc. The leading states are Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, Assam etc. Since from the ancient times, the world is fascinated about Indian spices. They constitute an important group of horticulture crops and are defined as vegetable products or mixture thereof, free from extraneous matter used for flavoring, seasoning and imparting aroma in foods. India is known as home of spices
producing a wide variety of spices like black pepper, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, chilli, Coriander etc. Major spice producing states are Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Orissa, Tamil Nadu etc. India has long and rich tradition of Ayurveda. In this regard, medicinal plants have proved to be life saver since from the inception of Ayurveda. India has diverse collection of medicinal and aromatic plants species distributed throughout the country. It has more than 9,500 species with medicinal properties.
Demand for these crops is increasing progressively in both domestic and export markets. Important medicinal plants are Isabgol, Senna, Opium poppy, Periwinkle, Coleus, Ashwagandha, etc. and aromatic plants are Japanese mint, Lemon grass, Citronella, Davana, Patchouli etc. In brief it can be stated that horticulture has great scope for the following reasons:-
1) Irrigation facility:(Scope Of Horticulture Crops)
A number of irrigation projects have been completed and some are in progress. A numbers of
percolation tanks are being constructed. New scheme of water conservation are launched and
some are in progress. This development potential can be effectively used to increase area
under irrigation which is useful to increase the area of horticulture crops, especially under the
2) Transport and marketing facility:(Scope Of Horticulture Crops)
Horticultural crops being perishable in nature require quick transport facilities. Development in the transport facilities can help to increase the area under horticulture crops by carrying the produce quickly and safely to markets viz. Banana from Jalgaon to North India, Onion from Nasik to Ahmadabad, Grapes from Maharashtra to European country. The most important fact is market should be near or if it is distant, there should be a facility of precooling, cold storage etc. A number of cold storages are constructed by using the assistance of National Horticulture Board thereby increasing scope for cultivation of horticultural crops. Recently, Maharashtra state government has been sanctioned development of dry port in Jalna district which is used for storage as well as direct transportation of agriculture commodity from Jalna to Mumbai.
3) Development of new techniques for maximum production:(Scope Of Horticulture Crops)
Many modern techniques have been developed for cultivating horticultural crops viz.,
a) Improved vegetative propagation techniques such as grafting, budding, layering, tissue
culture etc. are developed.
b) Use of growth regulators
c) Use of protected cultivation
d) Efficient irrigation technique viz., micro irrigation like drip and sprinkler etc.
e) Use of special Horticulture practices such as ringing in guava, girdling in grapes, notching in
fig, bahar treatments in fruits followed by farmers.
f) Use of new planting technique like high density planting.
g) Biotechnology is giving the protection cover to crops.
These potentials have increased the scope of horticulture crops.
4) Evaluation or Development of new variety:(Scope Of Horticulture Crops)
Many of variety in fruit, vegetables and flower crops with the specific objective like higher yield, improved quality, disease and pest resistance etc. have been developed. eg. Pusa jwala variety of chilli – it is resistant to leaf curl of chilli virus. Sardar variety of Guava – It is spreading type variety. (Scope Of Horticulture Crops)
5) Processing and value addition of horticulture crops :(Scope Of Horticulture Crops)
Lack of processing industry 30-40% waste occurred because of improper post harvest handling and storage in fruits and vegetables. Therefore there is ample scope of processing industries which will prove to be a boost for production of fruits and vegetables. (Scope Of Horticulture Crops)
6) New development scheme of state and central government:(Scope Of Horticulture Crops)
A number of schemes promoting horticulture development are in operation. This is beneficial to small and marginal farmers and even to large farmers. Government gives subsidy, provide loans- short term, medium term and long term for cultivation of horticulture crops.
7) Availability of cheap manpower:(Scope Of Horticulture Crops)
In India, a large population manpower which can be effectively used in the development of horticulture is easily available and helps them to provide employment and cheap labour reduces the production cost of horticulture crops. (Scope Of Horticulture Crops)
8) Availability of diverse and congenial climate:(Scope Of Horticulture Crops)
India has different types of climates which are suitable for horticulture crops. The Maharashtra state has diverse and congenial climate for cultivation of various types of fruits, vegetables and floriculture crops. eg. tropical, subtropical, temperate, arid crops are cultivated in Maharashtra. (Scope Of Horticulture Crops)
9) Development of cooperative sector and export potential:(Scope Of Horticulture Crops)
A number of co-operative bodies/ organizations working in retention to fruits, vegetables,
and floriculture production and marketing federations have been established all over India.
This take the responsibility of marketing the farmers produce on co-operative basis. The
horticultural produce has a great export potential for earning foreign exchange.
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