Importance and Scope of Horticultural Crops in India—A Commercial Approach

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Desert Ballroom: Salons 7-8 (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
Ramesh Joshi , Government College, Ajmer, Ajmer, India
M.L. Agarwal , Government College, Ajmer, Ajmer, India
Dilip Nandwani , Agricultural Experiment Station, University of the Virgin Islands, Kingshill, US Virgin Islands
India, with its diverse soil and climate comprising several agro-ecological regions, provides the opportunity to grow a variety of horticulture crops. These crops form a significant part of total agricultural produce in the country comprised of fruits, vegetables, root and tuber crops, flowers, ornamental plants, medicinal and aromatic plants, spices, condiments, plantation crops, and mushrooms. Horticultural crops play a unique role in India’s economy by improving the income of the rural people. Cultivation of these crops is labor intensive and as such they generate lot of employment opportunities for the rural population. India's area under horticulture crops touched 2.1 million hectares (21.03 lakh hectare). India's horticulture production has crossed an all time high of over 240 million tonnes in 2011–12. India with more than 28.2 million tonnes of fruits and 66 million tonnes of vegetables is one of the largest producers of fruits and vegetables in the world—next only to Brazil and China. The recent emphasis on horticulture in our country consequent to the recognition of the need for attaining nutrition security and for more profitable land use, has brought about a significant change in the outlook of the growers. The need for great utilization of available wastelands against the background of dwindling water and energy resources has focused attention to dry land (arid, and semi-arid tracts). It is estimated that India has 240 million acres of cultivable wasteland that can be brought to use for orchard crops without curtailing the area already used for food crops.