Time for green options

By Ranjan K Baruah

We have published information related to career in agriculture and today’s edition we will publish information related to horticulture. As we have seen the pandemic situation and people coming back to their native states, horticulture can be a good option for many young people to choose for livelihood. This is an option for young people who want to pursue courses related to horticulture. At the same time, there are opportunities for others to chose and become an entrepreneur.
It is a science as well as an art of production, utilisation and improvement of horticultural crops, such as fruits and vegetables, spices and condiments, ornamental, plantation, medicinal and aromatic plants. Horticultural crops require severe care in planting, carrying out intercultural operations, management of growth, harvesting, packaging, marketing, storage and processing.
The term horticulture is derived from two Latin words hortus, meaning ‘garden’, and cultura meaning ‘cultivation’. It refers to crops cultivated in an enclosure. This subject is being taught in agricultural universities around the country though there are few special institutes.
India is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world after China. In India, about 55-60 per cent of the total population depends on agriculture and allied activities.
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). These crops account for 37 per cent of the total exports of agricultural commodities from India.
When we look at the north eastern region then the main products from horticulture perspectives includes turmeric, ginger, banana, papaya, pomegranate, coconut, areca nut, etc. There are academic courses and also opportunities for entrepreneurs to start business where they get support from government and other agencies.
Students after passing senior secondary may join agricultural universities where the subject is being taught. All those who do not have related academic degree but wants to be an entrepreneur then they may communicate with different agencies and government departments focussing on horticulture. There are many training programmes being conducted in different parts of the North East.

NHB: National Horticulture Board (NHB) was set up by Government of India in April 1984 on the basis of recommendations of the ‘Group on Perishable Agricultural Commodities’, headed by Dr MS Swaminathan, the then Member (Agriculture), Planning Commission. The NHB is registered as a society under the Societies Registration Act 1860, with its headquarters at Gurugram.
The main objectives of the NHB are to improve integrated development of Horticulture industry and to help in coordinating, sustaining the production and processing of fruits and vegetables.

MIDH: Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme for the holistic growth of the horticulture sector covering fruits, vegetables, root & tuber crops, mushrooms, spices, flowers, aromatic plants, coconut, cashew, cocoa and bamboo. Under MIDH, Government of India contributes 60 per cent of the total outlay for developmental programmes in all the states except states in North East and Himalayas, 40 per cent share is contributed by state governments.
In the case of northeastern and Himalayan states, GoI contributes 90 per cent. In case of National Horticulture Board (NHB), Coconut Development Board (CDB), Central Institute for Horticulture (CIH), Nagaland and the National Level Agencies (NLA), GoI contributes 100 per cent.
MIDH also provides technical advice and administrative support to state governments/State Horticulture Missions (SHMs) for the Saffron Mission and other horticulture related activities Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY)/NMSA.

(The author is a career mentor and can be reached at [email protected] or 8473943734 for any career related queries)

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