The agricultural paradigm is already undergoing a shift with focus from cereal production to diversified farming.
Horticultural crops besides improving biological productivity and nutritional standards also have enormous scope for enhancing profitability. This group of crops comprising fruits, vegetables, root and tuber crops, plantation crops, medicinal and aromatic plants, spices and condiments and ornamental crops, would constitute core of any such agro-economic strategy. Past investment has been rewarding in terms of increased production, productivity and export of horticultural produce.
However, challenges confronting are still many. Although, the country is second largest production of fruits and vegetables; the availability of fruits and vegetables still continues to be much below the dietary requirements. With increase in per capita income and accelerated growth of health conscious population, demand for horticultural produce is on increase which is expected to further accelerate, which will require more production.
Consequently, horticultural development has to be seen as integrated approach, addressing important gaps, in harnessing the potential through targeted research with focus on enhancing efficiency. Thus, organic driven horticulture is expected to address the concern for complimentary and nutritional security, health care leading to ultimately economic development.