• India is the second-largest producer of horticulture crops globally, accounting for approximately 12% of the world’s production of fruits and vegetables.
  • India is a leader in producing fruits like Mango, Banana, Pomegranate, Sapota, Acid Lime and Aonla.
  • In 2018-19, Andhra Pradesh followed by Maharashtra and UP were the top states in fruit production.
  • West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh were the top States in vegetable production.
  • The area under horticulture crops increased to 25.5 million hectare in 2018-19, which is 20% of the total area under foodgrain, and produced 314 million tonnes.
Significance of Horticulture
  • Rise in horticulture: although grown in less area the production is higher than food grains
  • Horticulture is now 1/3rd of agriculture GDP
  • Horticulture is the branch of agriculture that deals with the art, science, technology, and business of growing plants. It includes the cultivation of medicinal plants, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, herbs, sprouts, mushrooms, algae, flowers, seaweeds and non-food crops such as grass and ornamental trees and plants.
  • Floriculture and livestock has also seen rapid growth
Why is Horticulture more vulnerable?
  • It require different marketing and processing support, which is different to the traditional agriculture
  • More vulnerable to price fluctuations than food grains
  • Most of the farmers (more than 80%) engaged in production of these crops are small and marginal farmers with little support from traditional agricultural policies such as insurance, marketing infrastructure, support prices and subsidies. Hence, our agricultural policies should be geared towards supporting and protecting these farmers
Steps Taken:
  • The Ministry has provided an enhanced allocation of Rs. 2250 Crore for the year 2021-22 for ‘Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture’ (MIDH).
  • MIDH is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for the holistic growth of the horticulture sector covering fruits, vegetables, root & tuber crops, mushrooms, spices, flowers, aromatic plants, coconut, cashew, cocoa and bamboo.
  • Horticulture Cluster Development Scheme launched for cluster based development of Horticulture Sector.
Way Forward
  • There is tremendous scope for enhancing the productivity of Indian horticulture which is imperative to cater to the country’s estimated demand of 650 Million MT of fruits and vegetables by the year 2050.
  • Some of the new initiatives like focus on planting material production, cluster development programme, credit push through Agri Infra Fund, formation and promotion of FPOs (Farmers Producer Organisations) are the right steps in this direction.

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