Horticulture Division vested with the responsibility of overseeing the overall accelerated development of horticulture in national perspective for improving nutritional, ecological and livelihood security.
Achieve technology led development of Horticulture.
To plan, co-ordinate and monitor Research and Development programmes at national level as well as to serve as knowledge repository in Horticulture Sector.
The headquarters of the Division is functioning at Krishi Anusandhan Bhawan-II, Pusa Campus, New Delhi. The Division has two commodity/subject specific technical sections (Horticulture I & II) and an administration wing, Institution Administration-V. Two ADGs, two Principal Scientists and a Deputy Secretary (Hort.) are assisting the Division headed by Deputy Director General (Hort.) in technical and administrative management. Horticulture Division of ICAR spearheads the horticulture research in India, which is carried out through 10 Central Institutes, 6 Directorates, 7 NRCs, 13 AICRPs and 6 Network Projects / Outreach programmes.
Thrust Areas (Priority wise)
The Horticulture (fruits including nuts, vegetables including potato, tuber crops, mushroom, ornamental plants including cut flowers, spices, plantation crops and medicinal and aromatic plants) has become a key drivers for economic development in many of the states in the country and it contributes 30.4 per cent to GDP of agriculture, which calls for technology-led development, where Division of Horticulture of ICAR is playing a pivotal role. The research priorities are for genetic resource enhancement and its utilization, enhancing the efficiency of production and reducing the losses in environment friendly manner.
- Effective management, enhancement, evaluation and valuation of genetic resources and development of improved cultivars, with high quality characteristics, productivity, resistance to pest and disease and tolerant to abiotic stresses.
- Development of technologies to improve the efficiency of breeding to develop cultivars, which meet market needs including taste, freshness, health benefit and convenience beside resistant to biotic and abiotic stress.
- Increasing the value of production by reducing variability in yield, quality, reducing crop loss and increasing marketability through development and site specific technologies for different horticultural crops.
- Developing system for productive use of nutrients, water and reducing impact of pest and disease through the use of innovative diagnostic techniques.
- Improve the understanding of interaction between native ecosystem and production system and develop best practices to conserve biodiversity and sustainable use of resource.
- Develop the production system that minimizes the production of wastes and maximizes the re-use of waste.
- Enhancing the shelf life of perishable fruits, vegetables, flowers, product diversification and value addition for better profitability.
- Understand social needs of communities and build the capabilities for practice the change for effective utilization of resources and adoption of technologies and respond to needs including bio-security needs.
Glimpses of Indian Horticulture
- Globally, second largest producer of fruits and vegetables
- Largest producer of mango, banana, coconut, cashew, papaya, pomegranate etc.
- Largest producer and exporter of spices
- Ranks first in productivity of grapes, banana, cassava, peas, papaya etc.
- Export growth of fresh fruits and vegetables in term of value is 14% and of processed fruits and vegetables is 16.27%
- The focused attention on horticulture has paid dividend and resulted in increased production and export. The production of horticultural produce has increased 7-fold which ensured nutritional security and employment opportunities.
- A total of 72,974 genetic resources holding 9240 accessions of fruits, 25,400 accessions of vegetables an tuber crops, 25,800 accessions of plantation and spices, 6250 accessions of medicinal and aromatic plants, 5300 accessions of ornamental plants and 984 accessions of mushroom.
- Molecular characterization of available germplasm has been done in several horticultural crops including mango, banana, citrus etc.
- A total of 1,596 high yielding varieties and hybrids of horticultural crops (fruits – 134, vegetables – 485, ornamental plants – 115, plantation and spices – 467, medicinal and aromatic plants – 50 and mushrooms – 5) were developed. As a result the productivity of horticultural crops viz. banana, grapes, potato, onion, cassava, cardamom, ginger, turmeric etc. has increased significantly.
- The varieties of quality standard for export purpose have been developed in apple, mango, grape, banana, orange, guava, litchi, papaya, pineapple, sapota, onion, potato, tomato, pea, cauliflower etc.
- The varieties for processing purpose and also the varieties tolerant / resistant to various biotic and abiotic stresses have been developed in different fruits, vegetables and medicinal and aromatic plants.
- By using biotechnological tools, transgenic in brinjal and tomato has been developed.
- Improved techniques for production of disease free quality planting material have been developed for citrus, banana, guava, potato, cassava and sweet potato. Micro propagation techniques have been standardized for various fruits, spices and other vegetatively propagated plants. The plant standards were also developed in various fruit crops.
- Serological and PCR based diagnostics were developed for detection of viruses, bacteria, fungi and nematodes in banana, citrus, grapes and black pepper.
- Rootstocks (Dogridge and 110R) were identified in grapes for drought and salinity tolerance. The rootstocks for citrus, apple, guava and mango have also been identified.
- For vertical and horizontal utilization of spaces, the meadow orcharding technology in guava and high density planting in banana and pineapple have been developed.
- To harness the solar energy, canopy management practices in various temperate, tropical and sub-tropical fruit crops have been standardized.
- The technology for rejuvenation of old and senile orchards of mango, guava, ber and aonla has been developed.
- Technology for enhancing the water and nutrient efficiency through micro irrigation and fertigation has been developed for number of horticultural corps.
- Inter cropping and multistoried cropping system models were developed for coconut, areca nut, ber and aonla to enhance farm profitability on sustainable basis.
- Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) were developed for medicinal plants like safed musli, lemongrass, palmarosa, senna etc.
- In a short span of time, India has made significant advancement in production of cut flowers and ornamental plants.
- Mushroom cultivation has also received impetus in recent decade which has improved socio-economic conditions of farmers and entrepreneurs. High yielding oyster and blue oyster mushroom species and production technology standardized.
- Protected cultivation has been standardized for quality production of various vegetables and ornamental plants. The technology is gaining popularity because of high productivity, quality produce and its economic viability.
- To minimize the dependence on toxic pesticides, eco-friendly bio-agents like, Trichogramma, NPV, Paecilomyces etc. were developed to combat insect pests. Efficient strains of Trichoderma, P. thiorescens, Aspergillus etc. were isolated and scaled up to manage soil-borne pathogens like Fusarium, Rhizoctoria, Pythium, Phytophthora and plant parasitic nematodes in horticultural crops.
- Farm mechanization to increase harvesting and processing efficiency and to reduce crop loss has been implemented by developing fruit harvesters, grading and cutting machines, driers, sorters etc.
- Low cost environment friendly cool chamber was developed for on farm storage of fruits and vegetables.
- Database, information and expert systems were developed on germplasm resources, pests and diseases in potato, grapes and spices.
- A number of value added products have been developed in coconut, mango, guava, aonla, litchi, different vegetables, potato, tuber crops, mushroom etc.
- Patents were obtained for production of alcohol from cassava, cassava starch based biodegradable plastics, fermented cassava flour and hand operated cassava chipping machine.
- For dissemination of technologies, region and crop specific training and demonstration programmes are being taken up by the concerned Institutes / Directorates / NRCs.
Future Outlook :
In order to envisage desired growth in agriculture, horticulture sector has to play a key role with following focused research thrust areas:
- Gene prospection and allele mining in fruits and vegetables grown under various environmental conditions.
- Nutrient dynamics and interaction
- Bioenergy and solid waste utilization.
- Genomics of coconut, mango, banana and parwal.
- Insect pollinators for improving productivity and quality of horticultural crops.
- Development of varieties for cultivation in non-traditional areas.
- Standardization of aeroponics and hydroponics techniques in fruits and vegetables production.
- Studies on nutritive quality and nutraceutical traits in fruits and vegetables.
- Post harvest and value addition in horticulture crops.
- Modified atmosphere packaging for long storability and transportation of fruits and vegetables.