Horticulture in India
India is the second largest producer of vegetables in the world (ranks next to China) and accounts for about 15% of the world’s production of vegetables. The current production level is over 71 million MT and the total area under vegetable cultivation is around 6.2 million hectares which is about 3% of the total area under cultivation in the country. In case of vegetables, potato, tomato, onion, cabbage and cauliflower account for around 60% of the total vegetable production in the country. Vegetables are typically grown in India in field conditions, the concept is opposed to the cultivation of vegetables in green houses as practiced in developed countries for high yields.
India is the largest producer of ginger and okra amongst vegetables and ranks second in production of potatoes, onions, cauliflowers, brinjal, Cabbages, etc. Amongst fruits, the country ranks first in production of Bananas (27.85%), Papayas (35.31%), Mangoes (including mangos teens) and Guava (39.04%).
India grows the largest number of vegetables from temperate to humid tropics and from sea-level to snowline, Vegetables are excellent source of vitamins, particularly Niacin, Riboflavin, Thiamin and Vitamins A and C. They also supply minerals such as Calcium and Iron besides Proteins and Carbohydrates. Vegetables combat under – nourishment and are known to be the cheapest source of natural protective tools. Most of the vegetables, being short duration crops, fit very well in the intensive cropping system and are capable of giving very high yields and very high economic returns to the growers. Major vegetables grown in India are Potato, Onion, Tomato, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Beans, Egg Plants, Cucumber and Gherkin, Frozen Peas, Garlic and Okra.
The major varieties under different vegetable products are as follows:
Potato (Kufri Sindhuri, Kufri Chandramukhi, Kufri Badshah, Kufri Bahar),
Tomato (Vaishali, Rupali, Rashmi, Rajni, Pusa Ruby),
Cauliflower(Pusa Deepali, Early Kunwari, Punjab Giant-26, Pant Shubhra, Dania Kalimpong),
Cabbage (Golden Acre, Pusa Mukta, Pusa Drumhead, K-1),
Peas (Asauji, Lucknow Boniya, Alaska, Bonneville, T-19),
Okra (Pusa Makhmali, Punjab Padmini, Pusa Sawani, Parbhani Kranti, Arka Anamika)
Green Leaves ( Coriander, Mint and Curry Leaves)
The major states in India producing fresh vegetables are West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.