Horticulture is a part of agriculture which is concerned with cultivation of “Garden Crops”. Garden crops traditionally include fruits, vegetables, ornamental plants, spices, plantation, medicinal & aromatic plants. The cultivation of garden plants is in contrast to the cultivation of field crops which is practiced in an extensive manner.
The horticulture crops require very intense care in planting, carrying out cultural operations, manipulating growth, harvesting, packing, marketing, storage & processing. Many of horticultural farm produces are highly perishable so it can be utilized in living stage only.
Plants life start with the germination of seed and proceeds on with the growth of seedling, flowering, Fruiting and seed formation. However, sometimes seed may not behave true to type or sterility of sex organs may not allow normal seed formation in the species or alternatively seeds may fail to germinate. Under these circumstances plant resort to reproduction through vegetative means is also practiced in plant breeding, Horticulture and Agriculture for maintain genetic uniformity in a species as well import resistant to pest & diseases.
In nature reproduction through vegetative or asexual means occurs by the development of organs of storage like tubers, bulbs, corms etc. or even through apomixes, through organs of presentation like runners, stolons , suckers etc. Grafting, budding layering and regeneration through plant part like root, stem or leaves are the propagation practices that are resorted to by horticulturists and other.
Floriculture & landscaping is also a part of agriculture deals with all the important & relevant aspects of floriculture & ornamental horticulture for various uses including production technology of export quality flowers in greenhouses apart from open cultivation in tropical & subtropical climates.
Vegetable farming system prevalent & followed in different regions of the country for vegetable cultivation have a significant role to meet the total requirement of the alarming population. Farming system for growing vegetables can be grouped into different types depending on the situations, topography, agro climatic conditions & requirement of the farming community in particular areas. These are plant land farming terraced farming, shifting cultivation, subsistence farming, cluster farming, truck gardening , vegetable gardening for seed production & floating garden.
Preservation is the technique of utilizing of perishable produce by extending storage life without deterioration in edible quality for it’s future use. Now-a-days, in horticulture value addition has been a buzzword. It explain technique to make the produce more valuable in terms of economic gain.
Value addition by processing of horticulture produce like fruits & vegetables offers best opportunity to tap marketing potential of horticultural crops.
Preservation & processing of horticulture produce have multiple objectives, of which extending the consumption period, value addition & the possibility of diversification to range of products suiting to consumer’s preference are the prime one. The basic preserving processes are canning, freezing, dehydration, salting, pickling of freeze drying.
The food preservation & processing industry has now become more of a necessity than being luxury. It has an important role in the conservation & better utilization of fruits & vegetables. In order to avoid glut & utilize the surplus during the season, it is necessary to employ modern methods to extend storage life for better distribution & also processing techniques to preserve them for utilization in the off season on both large scale & small scale.