Like any other things, scope of horticulture depends on incentive it has for the farmers, adaptability of the crops, necessity and facilities for future growth through inputs availability and infrastructure for the distribution of produce/marketing etc.
Incentive for the farmer
- The biggest incentive for the farmer is money and horticultural crops provide more returns in terms of per unit area production, export value, value addition compared to agricultural crops.
- India is bestowed with a great variety of climatic and edaphic conditions as we have climates varying from tropical, subtropical, temperate and within these humid, semi-arid, arid, frost free temperate etc.
- Likewise we have soils like loam, alluvial, laterite, medium black rocky shallow, heavy black, sandy etc. and thus a large number of crops can be accommodated with very high level of adaptability. Thus, there is good scope for horticultural crops.
- After having achieved self sufficiency in food, nutritional security for the people of the country has become the point of consideration/priority.
- Moreover, Indians are basically vegetarians, and to meet their nutritional requirement in terms of vitamins and minerals horticulture crops are to be grown in sufficient quantities to provide a bare minimum of 85 g of fruits and 200 g of vegetables per head per day with a population of above 120 crores.
- Continued increase in demand for horticultural produce provides tremendous scope for the growth of this industry.
- Good land is under pressure for stable food, industry, housing, roads and infrastructure due to population explosion and only wasteland had to be efficiently utilized where cultivation of annuals is a gamble due to restricted root zone and their susceptibility of abiotic stress.
- These lands can be best utilized to cultivate hardy horticultural crops like fruits and medicinal plants.
- At present our share in international trade of horticultural commodities is less than one per cent of total trade. Moreover, these commodities (spices, coffee, tea) fetch 10-20 times more foreign exchange per unit weight than cereals and therefore, taking advantage of globalization of trade, nearness of big market and the size of production, our country should greatly involve in international trade which would provide scope for growth.
- Among fresh fruits, mangoes and grapes; in vegetables, onion and potato; among flowers, roses; among plantataion and spice crops, black pepper,cardamom, ginger, turmeric,chillies, cashewnut, tea , coffee, coconut, arecanut, etc constitute the bulk of the export basket.
- European and gulf countries are major importer of horticultural produce.
Table: Major countries for export of horticultural produce
Fruits and vegetables
United Arab Emirates
Soviet Union countries