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GS Paper 3:

Topics Covered: Agriculture and related issues.



The India Greenhouse Horticulture market held a market value of USD 190.84 Million in 2021 and is estimated to reach USD 271.25 Million by the year 2030.

  • The market is expected to register a growth rate of 4.19% over the projected period. In 2021, India’s greenhouse horticulture production was 27.71 million tonnes.


What is greenhouse horticulture?

Greenhouse Horticulture is also known as protected cropping. It is the production of horticultural crops within, under or sheltered by structures for providing modified growing conditions and/or protection from adverse weather, pests, and diseases.


Growth Influencers:

  • Robust increase in population and food demand.
  • Rising entrepreneurship under horticulture due to government intervention.


What is Horticulture?

The term horticulture is derived from two Latin words hortus, meaning ‘garden’, and cultura meaning ‘cultivation’ hence meaning, crops cultivated in a garden cultivation.

  • It is a science and art of production, utilisation and improvement of fruits, vegetables, flowers and other plants for human food, non-food uses and social needs.

L.H. Bailey is considered the Father of American Horticulture and M.H. Marigowda is considered the Father of Indian Horticulture.



  • Diverse agro-climatic conditions in India ensure the production of all types of fresh fruits, vegetables and medicinal plants.
  • Horticulture crops perform a vital role in the Indian economy by generating employment, providing raw material to various food processing industries, and higher farm profitability due to higher production and export earnings from foreign exchange.
  • The comparative production per unit area of horticultural crops is higher than field crops.
  • Such crops are of high value, labour intensive and generate employment throughout the year. It has gained prominence over contributing a growing share in Gross Value Addition of agriculture.
  • They have national and international demand and are a good source of foreign exchange.
  • It is imperative to cater to the country’s estimated demand of 650 MT of fruits and vegetables by the year 2050.


Data Analysis:

  1. India is the second-largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world after China.
  2. Horticultural crops constitute a significant portion of the total agricultural produce in India. They cover a wide cultivation area and contribute about 28 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  3. These crops account for 37 per cent of the total exports of agricultural commodities from India.
  4. During the year 2019-20, the country recorded its highest ever horticulture production of 320.77 million tonnes from an area of 25.66 million hectares.



  • Faces high post-harvest loss and gaps in post-harvest management due to less or limited input by machinery and equipment.
  • Lack of supply chain infrastructures like cold storage and well-connected transport networks.
  • Difficulties in setting up due to higher input costs and limited availability of market intelligence, mainly for exports.
  • There are no safety net provisions like the Minimum Support Price (MSP) for foodgrains.
  • The production of horticultural commodities is far less as compared to the existing demand in the country.


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-

  1. National Horticulture Mission (NHM)
  2. Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States (HMNEH)
  3. National Horticulture Board (NHB)
  4. Coconut Development Board (CDB) &
  5. Central Institute of Horticulture (CIH), Nagaland.


National Horticulture Board (NHB):

  • It was set up in 1984 on the basis of recommendations of the “Group on Perishable Agricultural Commodities”, headed by Dr M. S. Swaminathan.
  • Headquartered at Gurugram.
  • Objective is to improve integrated development of Horticulture industry and to help in coordinating, sustaining the production and processing of fruits and vegetables.



Prelims Link:

  1. National Horticulture Mission.
  2. Features.
  3. Sub Schemes.
  4. National Horticulture Board.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of National Horticulture Mission.

Sources: PIB.