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India’s Horticulture Sector

  • Context (IE): Litchi Cultivation has expanded to 19 states.

Horticulture Sector in India: Status

  • Horticulture includes crops such as fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, spices, plantation crops (Cashewnut, Coconut, Cocoa etc.), floriculture, medicinal and aromatic plants, etc.
  • It contributes 30.4% to Agriculture’s Gross Domestic Product, using 13% of gross cropped area, and supports 20% of the agri-labour force.
  • Fruits and vegetables account for nearly 90% of total horticulture production in India.
  • Global Position of India’s Horticulture Sector:
    • Share in total world production: Fruits & Vegetables (12% each).
    • Share in global exports: 1.7% in vegetables and 0.5% in fruits.
    • 1st in production of Banana, Mango, Lime and Lemon, Ginger and Okra.
    • 2nd largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world (after China)
    • Largest Producer, Consumer, and Exporter of Spices.

Horticulture output seen slightly higher at 350.87 MT in 2022-23- The New Indian Express

Significance of Horticulture Sector

  • Promotes Crop diversification.
  • Filip to governments’ goal of doubling farmers’ income by creating employment opportunities.
  • Backward and forward linkages to the food processing industry.
  • Nutritional security, boosts immunity and maintains overall health.
  • Export opportunities

Challenges of Horticulture Sector

  • Poor marketing of horticulture crops.
  • Huge post-harvest losses due to perishable nature of crops.
  • High price fluctuations of produce.
  • Stiff competition from the international market.
  • Limited availability of market intelligence, especially exports.

GoI Initiatives for Horticulture Sector

Horticulture Cluster Development Programme (CDP)

  • It is a central sector programme launched to enhance the global competitiveness of the Indian horticulture sector.
  • National Horticulture Board (NHB) provides financial assistance and supervise its implementation.
  • A government/ public sector entity shall be appointed as a Cluster Development Agency (CDA) for each identified cluster for the implementation of CDP.

Price Stabilization Fund for Perishable Horticulture Products

  • To help regulate price volatility of important agri-horticultural commodities.

Operation Greens

  • Launched during Budget 2018-19 to address price fluctuations in tomato, onion, and potato (TOP) and for benefit of farmers and consumers.
  • It was later extended to all crops (from TOP to TOTAL).


  • Launched by APEDA (Agriculture and Processed Food Export Development Authority), providing online services such as farm registration, testing and certification, real time details of farmers, farm location, etc.

Horticulture Data Centre

  • Set up by the Department of Agriculture to collect regular data on area, production and productivity of horticulture crops.

Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH)

  • It is a centrally sponsored scheme for holistic growth of horticulture sector.
  • Contribution: 60:40 (Centre: States), for North-Eastern and Himalayan states, Centre contributes 90%.
  • Schemes under it:
    1. National Horticulture Mission (NHM)
    2. Horticulture Mission for North-East and Himalayas (HMNEH)
    3. National Horticulture Board (NHB)
    4. Coconut Development Board (CDB) – to focus on development of the coconut sector.
    5. Central Institute for Horticulture (CIH), Nagaland

National Horticulture Board (NHB)

  • Set up in 1984, it is headquartered in Gurugram.
  • It provides financial assistance for horticulture schemes such as cold storage, bio-pesticides, mushroom cultivation and coconut farming.

CHAMAN (Coordinated Programme on Horticulture Assessment and MANagement using Geometrics)

  • It aims to develop a digital inventory of horticultural zones by mapping the area and output through Geo-Spatial studies and remote sensing technology.
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