— Vijay Singh Meena
Horticulture comprises the cultivation of fruits and vegetables, ornamental flowers, medicinal and aromatic plants and their post-harvest management. Presently India is next to China in the subject area and production of fruits and vegetable crops and has been contributing 10% of fruits and 14% of vegetable of the total world production. India leads the world in the production of mango, banana, sapota, acid lime and cauliflower while the highest productivity of grape is also recorded here. India occupies second position in production of onion and third in cabbage production globally. Fruits such as mango, banana, citrus, guava and apple account for 75 per cent of the total fruit production in the country. India produces about 70 different varieties of various vegetables. The horticulture sector constituted nearly 20 per cent of agricultural GDP and contributes 4 per cent in the national economy. Despite having all the favourable factors, the desired level of development in horticulture has not been achieved because of a number of constraints like low productivity of many fruits and vegetables than international averages. Non availability of good planting material, lack of post harvest management and less value addition etc.. As of today, horticulture is considered, one of the fastest growing sectors in agriculture and is a thrust area to stimulate agricultural growth, spurred by the changing domestic food habits towards more nutritious food and increasing overseas demand. The area and production under horticulture crops was 12.77 million hectares and 96.56 million tonnes respectively during 1991-92 after that a huge spurt in horticulture has arisen and it reached to 20.66 million hec area and 223.8 mt production by 2010 (NHB).
Job Opportunities in Horticulture:
Horticulture is the mainstream of agriculture. It is an applied science dealing with fruits, vegetables and ornamental flowers. It is an extremely diversified field with nearly unlimited career opportunities in a variety of job settings. A large number of jobs require knowledge and training in horticulture. The level of training could be vocational or at the school/college/KVK level. Generally a good job in horticulture sector requires degree in this discipline. College level education provides more in depth knowledge of the field and offers job opportunities at supervisory or managerial levels while post graduation and doctorate level degree provide very good jobs in the field of horticulture to conduct research or impart teaching. Horticulture is a vast subject in the field of agriculture and it is divided in three major branches :
Floriculturist: Floriculture is a branch of Horticulture, which deals with the study of growing and marketing of flowers and foliage plants. Floriculture includes cultivation of flowering and ornamental plants for sale or for use as raw material in cosmetic and perfume industry or in the pharmaceutical sector. The persons associated with this field are called floriculturists. Floriculturists are specialized in planning and designs of exterior/interior landscapes for parks, recreational areas, campuses, industrial sites, institutional grounds, shopping malls, and other large projects. Generally florists have a sound knowledge of growing cut flowers, bedding plants and potted plants right from production to post harvest management. They are not only well acquainted with design of flower and foliage plant arrangement but also they are well versed in field of care and sell live or dried floral material. Therefore these personnel are in high demand now a days in government agencies, landscape architectural firms, and resorts.
Olericulturist: The study of vegetable culture is called as ‘Olericulture’. Those who perform the activities of vegetable growing are known as olericulturist. Vegetable growing is an important branch of horticulture. It has an immense scope in a vast country like India. Olericulturist can start their career in industry, research institutes, universities and other organizations at various levels. These personnel are more required presently in private sector as the vegetable growers have good future especially in seed industry.
Pomologist: Pomology is one of the branches of horticulture which focuses on the cultivation, production, post harvest, storage, processing and value addition of fruits plants known as the major source of carbohydrates, vitamins, protein and antioxidants. It is a well known fact the fruit industry plays a significant role in many countries economy, making pomology especially vital. One of the most critical aspects of pomology is the development of new hybrid fruit cultivators. Generally pomologists are well acquainted with breeding technology, tissue culture techniques, integrated nutrient management (INM), integrated pest management technique (IPM) and protected cultivation techniques of fruits. They are well versed in transfer of qualitative and quantitative traits specifically desired traits, such as flavor, and disease-resistance. Pomologists future in the industries, ICAR, State agricultural Universities and in other organizations is bright.
At present there are about 32 agricultural Universities in our country where horticultural education and research is being carried out apart from deemed Universities.
Horticulture Education in State Agricultural Universities / Central Universities/Deemed Universities at Various Levels
Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University., Rajendranagar, Hyderabad
Junagadh Agriculture University, Moti Baug, Agril. Campus, Junagadh
Marathwada Agri. University, Parbhani
Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth, Krishi Nagar, Akola
Central agriculture University, Imphal
Maharana Pratap Univ. of Agriculture & Technology, Udaipur
Chandra Shekar Azad Univ. of Agriculture & Technology, Kanpur
(The list is indicative only)
Govt. Jobs / Public Sector:
1. Civil Services (IAS/IFS & Allied) This examination is conducted by Union Public Service Commission: B.Sc. Ag/ B.Sc. (Horticulture)/Graduates are also eligible.
2. Scientist: This Examination conducted by the Agriculture Scientist Recruitment Board, ICAR, New Delhi, Eligibility:M.Sc Agr. (Horticulture) or Ph.D in Horticulture.
3. Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Training Associate in Agricultural Universities and Colleges. Eligibility: M.Sc Agr. (Horticulture) with NET or Ph.D in Horticulture.
4. Horticulture Officer/ Agriculture Officer: Examinations conducted by State Public Service Commission.Eligibility: M.Sc (Agr) M.Sc. (Horticulture).
5. Assistant Agriculture Officer: Examinations conducted by State Public Service Commission. Eligibility: B.Sc. (Agr) B.Sc. (Horticulture).
6. Technical Assistant/ Training Assistant in SAU, ICAR, DRDO, IARI & CSIR. Eligibility: B.Sc. (Agr) B.Sc. (Horticulture).
7. Horticulture Inspector /Food Inspector / Marketing Inspector/ Agriculture Development Officer in DSSSB/HPSC.Eligibility: B.Sc. (Agr) B.Sc. (Horticulture).
You can become a Horticulturist or Supervisor (Landscape) in Industries, Hotels, Golf Courses & Construction Companies etc. if you have sufficient talent. Marketing jobs are also offered by various pesticide and insecticide companies.
Self-employment in Horticulture
You can start the Agriculture clinic if you have graduation in Horticulture/Agriculture or can start the business of Nursery raising of fruit plants and ornamental plants by the plant material using various techniques (e.g. grafting, budding, tissue culture, layering and vegetative propagation).
Fellowship in Horticulture Sector by UGC:
The Rajiv Gandhi National Fellowship (RGNF) Scheme is open to SC/ST candidates who wish to pursue higher studies as regular and full time Ph.D scholars in the discipline of Horticulture Science.
Fellowship in Horticulture Sector by ICAR:
Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), New Delhi offers JRF (Junior Research Fellowship) and SRF (Senior Research Fellowship) to those who qualify the respective examinations conducted by ICAR from time to time.
Vijay Singh Meena is Scientist (Horticulture) at CIPHET, Abohar (Punjab) – 152116, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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