Chennai, August 31, 2018: Horticulture production has reached 307 mt during this year thereby making us one of the largest producers of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. A major problem in horticulture has been the deterioration in quality caused by inadequate cold storage and processing facilities. Prime Minister’s goal of doubling farm income can easily be achieved if horticulture crops are integrated in the farming system. Also we can aim to produce 500 mt of fruits, vegetables and flowers in another ten years if we can promote peri-urban horticulture.
In 1982, I had recommended the establishment of a National Horticulture Board on the model of the National Dairy Development Board. The National Horticulture Board is functioning although not on the same lines as the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB). Enough investment in post-harvest management and technology are lacking.
What is important is integrated attention to production, storage, processing and marketing on the one hand and improved consumption on the other. Our country is known for its problems of malnutrition and hidden hunger caused by a lack of micronutrients in the diet. The horticulture revolution can help us to overcome this problem and help to convert the goal of moving away from food security to nutrition security. Conservation, cultivation using organic farming methods; Consumption and commerce are all integral parts of the movement“horticulture for nutrition security”.