Day 15 – Q 1.Examine the current status, potential and challenges of horticulture sector in India.
1. Examine the current status, potential and challenges of horticulture sector in India.
भारत में बागवानी क्षेत्र की वर्तमान स्थिति, क्षमता और चुनौतियों की जाँच करें।
Horticulture is a science, as well as, an art of production, utilization and improvement of horticultural crops, such as fruits and vegetables, spices and condiments, ornamental, plantation, medicinal and aromatic plants, cashew etc. is nowadays recognized as an important sector for potential diversification and value addition in agriculture.
Current Status of Horticulture in India:
- Horticulture as a sector has performed remarkably in recent years. Production of fruits and vegetables has outstripped that of food grain for the 3rd straight year in 2015-16.
- In 2016-17, India’s horticulture production stood at 300 Million Tonnes.Over 30 Million Tonnes more than Food grain Production.
- Share of horticulture in agricultural production was more than 33%. According to survey, over the past decade, the area under – horticulture crops has grown by 2.7% per year, fueling production, which increased at an annual pace of 7%.
- Share of plan outlay for horticulture, which was 3.9% during the 9th plan, increased to 4.6% during the 12th Plan (2017).
- Fruits and vegetables account for nearly 90% of total horticulture production in the country. The total horticulture production has increased from 211.2 million tonnes in 2007-08 to 311.71 million tonnes in 2018-19.
- India is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world with first rank in the production of Banana, Mango, Lime & Lemon, Papaya and Okra.
Potential of horticultural sector in India:
- Less resource input- pesticides, water etc. are required in little amount when it comes to horticultural crops.
- Horticulture is not merely a means of diversification, but forms an integral part of food, nutritional security and poverty alleviation, and also an essential ingredient of economic security.
- It is estimated that India has 240 million acres of cultivable wasteland, which is lying idle, which can be brought under orchard crops without curtailing the area under food crops. The country has abundant sunshine throughout year, a surplus labour and widely varied agro-climatic condition, which offers a high potential for successful and profitable commercial horticulture.
- Horticultural crops playa unique role in India’s economy by improving the income of the rural people. Cultivation of these crops is labour intensive and as such, they generate lot of employment opportunities for the rural population. India with more than 28.2 million tonnes of fruits and 66 million tonnes of vegetables, is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world, next only to Brazil and China.
- India is bestowed with diverse soil and agro climatic conditions suitable for growing a wide variety of horticultural crops. These crops form a significant part of total agricultural produce in the country comprising of fruits, vegetables, root and tuber crops, ornamental plants, medicinal and aromatic plants, spices, condiments and plantation crops.
- Diverse agro-climatic conditions in India ensure the production of all types of fresh fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants in different parts of the country.
- Health consciousness among people is increasing. Majority of the population in India is vegetarian. As a result, the demand of fruits and vegetables is also high. The production of horticultural commodities is far less as compared to the existing demand in the country. So, there is a vast scope to produce more horticultural crops. Major areas in
- Higher input cost than food crops such as rice and wheat
- High price fluctuation makes it challenging , especially for capital starved marginal farmers
- Limited availabity of market intelligence, especially for exports
- Small farmers complain of limited support from local governments.
- Most growers do not get reasonable returns for their produce.
- Commodity Future market for horticulture produce is not well developed in India. Farmers are therefore not able to get remunerative prices for their produce.
- Improper post-harvest handling and lack of processing facilities.
- Farmers have been regularly affected by price slumps.
- Connectivity and transportation remain the biggest hurdles
- The awareness to fight pests insects and rodents were not given and farmer were not well trained
- Huge wastage while storing, because of inadequate cold storage systems and loss during transportation. Without any skilling, it becomes difficult for the farmers to get maximum possible output.
The horticulture sector has become one of the driving forces for overall development of agriculture sector. Its products have more demand in local, national and international markets. Despite significant growth in production, the yield growth rate of fruit was not very impressive. Therefore, it calls for technological innovation in the sector.