ICFA Working Group on Horticulture
Horticulture crops have a significant contribution in the gross domestic production of the agricultural sector. Due to the increasing demand and important contribution in agricultural sector, horticultural crops are becoming an area of priority both globally and nationally. Indian horticulture crops witnessed an increasing trend over the past five years, on the basis of production, growing at a CAGR of 1.95% during 2011-2016. The year 2015-16 marked the fourth straight year that India’s horticulture production outstripped food grain output, underlining a structural change underway in Indian agriculture. In 2015-16, horticulture production exceeded food grain output by more than 31 million tonnes. The fact that horticulture crops are grown in about 10% of India’s gross cropped area, compared to over 50% of the area used to grow food grain, also signals the success of small and marginal farmers in growing more fruits and vegetables, driven by higher demand.
However, the horticulture sector faces numerous challenges from climate change, post-harvest losses, bio-security concerns, absence of market linkages and price fluctuations, changing quality consciousness and global competition. These concerns need to be addressed in order to sustain the growth momentum in horticulture. The focus of growth strategy, therefore, needs to be on raising productivity by supporting high density plantations, protected cultivation, micro irrigation, quality planting material, rejuvenation of senile orchards and a thrust on post-harvest management to ensure that the farmers do not lose their produce in the transit from the farm gate to the consumer’s plate. International Conference on Horticulture organized by ICFA will be a good platform for discussing the challenges associated with Indian horticulture segment and also for exploring opportunities.
The Conference aims at achieving the following specific objectives: