“Horticulture can Increase Farmers Income”
Examine this statement: “Horticulture can increase farmers’ income”.
Introduction: (up to 30 words) Start with the importance of Horticulture and why it should be taken up/promoted
Body: (up to 100 words) List out reasons/points on how horticulture secures a farmers income or how it reduces losses
Conclusion: (up to 30 words) Suggest ways to improve Horticulture sector in India
Horticulture is the branch of agriculture concerned with intensively cultured plants directly used by man for food, medicinal purposes and aesthetic gratification. In simpler words, it is cultivation, production and sale of vegetables, fruits, flowers, herbs, ornamental or exotic plants.
Classification of Horticulture:
- Pomology: Planting, harvesting, storing, processing, and marketing of fruit and nut crops.
- Olericulture: Producing and marketing vegetables.
- Arboriculture: Study, selection and care of individual trees, shrubs or other perennial woody plants.
- Ornamental Horticulture: It has two subparts.
- Floriculture: Production, use and marketing of floral crops.
- Landscape Horticulture: Production and marketing of plants used to beautify the outdoor environment.
Horticulture in India
Horticulture has a number of advantages compared with agriculture crops:
- Horticulture sector has become one of the major drivers of growth as it is more remunerative than the agricultural sector (food grains mainly).
- This sector provides employment possibilities across primary, secondary and tertiary sectors.
- Horticulture crops, fruits are more resilient to change in weather conditions and the vegetables augment the income of small and marginal farmers.
- Water utilisation is very low, minimising the risk of crop failure and it can be done on smaller farms.
- Multiple crops are planted simultaneously to get more yield and to use the maximum of the fertilisers.
- This sector enables the population to eat a diverse and balanced diet for a healthy lifestyle.
- It became a key driver for economic development in many of the states in the country where Division of Horticulture of Indian Council of Agricultural Research is playing a pivotal role.
- Horticulture can be done on dry and hilly land.
- Unlike large-scale cereal crops, horticulture farms can be much smaller, allowing marginal farmers to boost their earnings from their small landholdings.
- While horticulture crops require more inputs in the form of fertilisers and so on, farmers often plant two or three crops simultaneously to maximise yield from each acre.
- In the last few decades, this sector has gained prominence over contributing a growing share in Gross Value Addition of the Agriculture and allied sectors.
- Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) is being implemented by adopting an end to end approach for increasing production of horticulture crops and reducing post-harvest losses.
- The production of fruits and vegetables has overcome the production of food grains 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.
- Many farmers have seen their incomes at least doubled since making the transition to horticulture.
- The varieties tolerant/resistant to various biotic and abiotic stresses have been developed in different fruits, vegetables, medicinal and aromatic plants.
- Improved techniques for production of disease free quality planting materials have been developed. Micro propagation techniques have been standardized for various fruits, spices and other vegetatively propagated plants.
- Technology for enhancing the water and nutrient efficiency through micro irrigation and fertigation has been developed for a number of horticultural crops.
- Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) are developed for various plants, especially medicinal.
- Farm mechanization to increase harvesting and processing efficiency and to reduce crop loss has been implemented by developing horticulturalists.
- Low cost environment friendly cool chamber was developed for on-farm storage of fruits and vegetables.
- For dissemination of technologies, region and crop specific training and demonstration programmes are being taken up.
- Horticulture does not enjoy a safety net like the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for foodgrains.
- Lack of good cold chain storage and transport networks to extend the life of perishable products.
- Very less or limited input by machinery and equipment so it is tough to minimise the time restraints.
- Higher input costs than foodgrains make it a difficult set up, especially when there is no support from the local governments to the smaller farmers.
- It gets challenging for marginal farmers to cope with the high price fluctuations.
- Limited availability of market intelligence, mainly for exports makes it a tougher option to choose.
- Achieve technology led development in Horticulture.
- Post harvest & value addition in horticulture crops.
- Modified atmosphere packaging for long storability & transportation of fruits & vegetables.
- Insect pollinators for improving productivity and quality of the crops.
- Development of varieties for cultivation in non-traditional areas.
- Nutrient dynamics and interaction.
- Bioenergy and solid waste utilisation to make horticulture more efficient and eco-friendly.
- Plan, coordinate and monitor R&D programmes at national level as well as to serve as knowledge repository in Horticulture sector.
- The diversification in the agricultural sector mainly of the horticulture sector has become a major source of positive growth for the sector itself and for the nation.
- It has emerged as a promising source of income acceleration, employment generation, poverty alleviation and export promotion.
- India can emerge as a far bigger producer and exporter if sufficient emphasis is given to resource allocation, infrastructure development, more R&D, technological upgradation and better policy framework for horticulture sector.
- Horticulture sector with strong forward and backward linkages as an organised industry can stimulate and sustain growth.
|Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) Centrally Sponsored Scheme for the holistic growth of the horticulture sector covering fruits, vegetables and other areas. Under MIDH, Government of India contributes 60% of the total outlay for developmental programmes in all the states (except North Eastern and Himalayan states where GOI contributes 90%) & 40% is contributed by State governments. It has five major schemes on horticulture: i. National Horticulture Mission (NHM) ii. Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States (HMNEH) iii. National Horticulture Board (NHB) iv. Coconut Development Board (CDB) & v. Central Institute of Horticulture (CIH), Nagaland|