Horticulture

Horticulture is the cultivation of garden plants, fruits, berries, nuts, vegetables, flowers, trees, shrubs and turf. Horticulturists work for plant propagation, crop production, plant breeding, genetic engineering, plant biochemistry, plant physiology, storage, processing and transportation. They work to better crop yield, quality, nutritional value and resistance to insects, diseases, and environmental pollution. Here is a region wise list of crop management measures(External website that opens in a new window)(External website that opens in a new window) for horticultural plants in India.

Horticulturalists use modern nurseries for the production of seedlings and mother plants. These plants are propagated through different methods such as seeds, inarching, budding, veneer grafting, patch budding and soft wood grafting. More detailed information on modern nurseries(File referring to external site opens in a new window) , maintenance of mother plants and composition of rooting and potting mixtures.

  • Tamil Nadu - This State is suitable for horticulture because of its rich bio diversity and appropriate climate. A wide variety of tropical fruits, temperate fruits, vegetables, spices, condiments, plantation crops, medicinal herbs, aromatic plants and commercial flowers are grown here.
  • Jammu and Kashmir(External website that opens in a new window) - The horticulture industry is the mainstay of the rural economy of Kashmir. Every year, this industry earns revenue of over Rs. 50 crores. Fruits cultivated in Kashmir include a variety of apples, pears, cherries, walnuts, almonds, peaches, saffron, apricots, strawberries and plums.
  • Orissa(External website that opens in a new window) - Here horticulture consists of the cultivation of fruits like pineapple, mango and cashew; vegetables like mushroom, drumstick, and onions; and spices like ginger and turmeric. Strategies by the State Government for the promotion of horticulture include supplying better quality planting material at subsidized rates, conducting training programmes; field demonstrations and encouraging cultivation at lift irrigation points.
  • Punjab(External website that opens in a new window) - Around 1,82,600 hectares of land were brought under horticulture crops till 2002. This area has grown a lot since then. Currently, fruits like sweet orange, kinnow, guava, peace, litchi and mango are grown in the region.
  • Maharashtra(External website that opens in a new window) - Horticulture involves the cultivation of fruits like banana, fig, grapes, custard apple, wood apple, jhambul, pomegranate, mandarin orange, guava and sweet orange. Vegetables, medicinal plants and spices are also grown in the State.
  • Tripura(External website that opens in a new window) - is land of high hills and hillocks interspersed with rivers and valleys. It has moderately warm and humid climate coupled with well-distributed annual rainfall of 2500 mm. This terrain and climate is ideally suited for rain-fed horticulture. Fruits like pineapple, jackfruit, orange, litchi, cashew nut, coconut, lime and lemon are produced in abundance.
  • Assam(External website that opens in a new window) - Some of the popular horticultural crops grown in Assam are carambola, wood apple, jackfruit, ginger, oranges, olives, figs and bamboo shoot. Almost 75 per cent of the population of the state derive their livelihood from agriculture and horticulture.
  • Andhra Pradesh(External website that opens in a new window) - This State has a varied climate and is suitable for a wide range of horticultural crops. It leads in the production of citrus, chillies, turmeric and oil palm. Andhra Pradesh is also a major producer of cocoa, cashew, guava, coriander, banana, ginger and coconut.

Horticulture tips to minimize the impact of water stress are:

  1. Popularization of micro irrigation system: Micro irrigation more popularly known as drip irrigation is an important strategy in reducing the impact of drought. The main feature of micro irrigation is the high level of efficiency in water use coupled with higher yield. If you use the same quantity of water used in conventional methods of irrigation, nearly two times more land can be irrigated through the drip system.
  2. Use of mulches: Soil moisture can be conserved through mulching with black polyethylene or locally available mulches, growing cover crops or inter-culturing in the orchards. These methods also check soil erosion and runoff of rainwater. Application of farm yard manure or vermin-compost for improving soil health and water holding capacity of the soil is another way to efficiently use and conserve the water that is available. Sometimes plants are covered with mulches preferably grass mulch (10-12 kg/basin) and black polyethylene mulch (100 micron) throughout the growth period. This helps in conserving soil moisture, saving water for more critical stages and reducing the weed population by 60 per cent with grass mulch and 100 per cent with polyethylene mulch. This reduces the cost of cultivation.
  3. Use drought tolerant rootstocks for Horticultural Crops: One tool that has played an important role in making India one of the leading producers of fine quality grapes is the use of rootstocks. Rootstocks offer attractive and environmentally sound protection to vine and grapes in conditions of severe shortage of irrigation water and uncertainty of rainfall. Many rootstocks have been introduced and tested at Indian Agricultural Research Institute(External website that opens in a new window), New Delhi and Indian Institute of Horticultural Research(External website that opens in a new window) in Bangalore. Two rootstocks that display the most potential are Dogridge and Salt Creek. Rangpur Lime is one rootstock that is tolerant to drought. It is also capable of bearing Phytophthora and salinity. This rootstock is recommended for areas in which the Rough Lemon rootstock is currently in use because of the large amount of water it saves.
  4. Use of shed-nets in nursery: Keeping nursery plants under shed-nets and irrigating them through micro-jets facilitates their survival percentage and reduces irrigation needs.
  5. Rain water harvesting: This method consists of in situ water harvesting through the opening of small trenches and contour bunding. Another technique of rainwater harvesting is the use of micro irrigation systems whereby rainwater is collected in the lower regions of the farm and later recycled to the crops.



 

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