India is the seventh largest country in the world with a total geographical area of 328.73 m ha. and has second largest population 121 crores (2011) after China.
The total arable land available is 144 m.ha.
Around 55-60 per cent of population depends on agriculture and allied activities.
Horticulture crops constitute a significant component of total agricultural productionin the country.
The term horticulture is derived from latin words: “hortus” meaning “garden” and “cultura” meaning “cultivation”. In ancient days the gardens were protected enclosures with high walls or similar structures surrounding the houses.
The enclosed places were used to grow fruit, vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants. Therefore, in original sense “Horticulture refers to cultivation of garden plants within protected enclosures”.
Present days the horticulture may be defined as the science and technique of production, processing and merchandizing of fruits, vegetables, flowers, spices, plantations and medicinal and aromatic plants.