Horticulture is a branch of agriculture that involved in research and development, marketing of fruits and vegetables, oenology- winemaking, post harvest physiology, viticulture, floriculture- flower produce, turf- grass for grazing, sports etc. Presently India is 2nd largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world.
Government of India has established National Horticulture Board to improve integrated development of Horticulture industry and to help in coordinating, sustaining the production and processing of fruits and vegetables. Various schemes implemented by National Horticulture Board such as Commercial Horticulture Scheme, Cold storage scheme, Technology Development Transfer Scheme, Market Information Service Scheme, Horticulture Promotion Service. National Horticulture Board publishes data of daily, weekly, monthly horticulture produce price in farmers market on official website. Area production statistics are also available on website. It also publishes informational data regarding horticulture produce.
ICAR- Indian Council of Agriculture Research- Horticulture Division aims at overall accelerated development of horticulture in national perspective for improving nutritional, ecological and livelihood security. Success of Horticulture Division can be stated in this fact that total of 1,596 high yielding varieties and hybrids of horticultural crops (fruits - 134, vegetables - 485, ornamental plants - 115, plantation and spices - 467, medicinal and aromatic plants - 50 and mushrooms - 5) were developed. As a result, the productivity of horticultural crops viz. banana, grapes, potato, onion, cassava, cardamom, ginger, turmeric etc. has increased significantly. Horticulture division is also succeed in developing improved techniques for production of disease free quality planting material for citrus, banana, guava, potato, cassava and sweet potato. Micro propagation techniques have been standardized for various fruits, spices and other vegetatively propagated plants. The plant standards were also developed in various fruit crops. Patents were obtained for production of alcohol from cassava, cassava starch based biodegradable plastics, fermented cassava flour and hand operated cassava chipping machine.
A National Horticulture Mission was launched in 2005-06 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme to promote holistic growth of the horticulture sector through an area based regionally differentiated strategies. The scheme has been subsumed as a part of Mission for Integration Development of Horticulture (MIDH) during 2014-15.
Horticulture market is seasonal which renders scope for further processing/ agri-business in order to provide products round the year. For example, mango is one of seasonal fruits but it is available round the year on shelf in the form of fruit juice, canned pulp and other mango products.
Farmers can get benefit by export of horticulture produce which requires compliance international standards. Government of India established consultancy for farmers/ horticulturists called Indian Horticulture and food processing (IHFP). It was started to cater the need of progressive farmer who involved in Hi-Tech horticulture and food processing activities. It has more than 200 progressive farmer and happy clients and the number is increasing every day. The wide variant of the farmers ranges from controlled cultivation like Hi-tech Green House, shade house cultivation for Horticulture and floriculture, Hi-tech open cultivation (mango, coconut, papaya, amla, Tamarind, Sapota, Citrus, TC Banana, Pomegranate, Guava, Grapes) cultivation, Tissue culture Laboratory and Hi-tech multi chamber cold storages. It provides facility of laboratory services, project report services, marketing and project monitoring.