Twelve Things to Know About Indian Horticulture

  • Production of fruits and vegetables (F&V) in 2016-17 outstripped that of cereals for the fifth year in a row.
  • Horticultural output of 295 million tonnes was higher than that of 273 million tonnes of grain.
  • The area under F&V is just a fifth of the area under grain.
  • The government has had a small role to play; it is a private sector success story.
  • Horticulture does not get priority in government outlays: its share has varied between 3.9 and 4.6 percent of the sector outlay since the 9th Five Year Plan.
  • Price slumps in onions, tomatoes and potatoes have prevented farmers from even recovering production costs.
  • The government steps in through market intervention operations but these are not friction-less.
  • F&V are mainly produced by small and marginal farmers.
  • F&V accounts for a third of agri-GDP.
  • It is necessary for diversification out of agriculture.
  • The top 10 F&V states were slow to adopt the Green Revolution.
  • People are consuming more of F&V. It is the sector to be in.

(Top photo of kinoos in Abohar, Punjab, by Vivian Fernandes)

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