Horticulture in India

Horticulture in India is fast emerging as an important source of livelihood in rural areas. Horticultural crops include fruits, vegetables, and medicinal and aromatic plants and flowers. Presently, India is the second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables, which include mangoes, bananas, coconuts, cashew nuts, and a variety of spices.

Importance of Horticulture in India

Consequently, the income levels of families engaged in horticultural production have risen considerably. The increase in horticultural production has lowered the vulnerability of small and marginal farmers. Activities such as flower harvesting, nursery maintenance, hybrid-seed production, food processing, and propagation of fruits and flowers have provided a gateway of employment opportunities to women. Horticulture generates employment for 19% of the total rural labor force in India.

The term “Golden Revolution” is used to refer to the period between 1991 and 2003. During this period, there was a tremendous increase in the production of various fruits, vegetables, spices, and other horticultural products. The growth of the horticultural sector has created a major problem for the country. The bulk of the area under horticulture has expanded at the cost of the area under pulses.

As a result, the production of pulses has reduced considerably. Horticulture suffers from a lack of infrastructural facilities such as cold storage, transportation, and modern technology. Thus, efforts are required in this area to fully utilize the potential of horticulture.

To conclude, the various non-farming activities are increasingly playing an important role in providing alternative employment opportunities to the rural people and, thereby, raising their standard of living. Nevertheless, efforts must still be made to rectify the various shortcomings and further develop these activities.

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