Horticulture and Its Role in the National Economies
Horticulture forms an integral and important component in the economy of a nation. Horticultural crops constitute a significant segment of the total agricultural production of a country. The importance of horticulture can be substantiated by its benefits like high export value, high per unit area yield, high returns per unit area, best utilization of wasteland, provision of raw materials for industries, whole engagement by a grower/laborer, production of more food energy per unit area than that of field crops, better use of undulating lands, and stabilization of women’s empowerment by providing employment opportunities through processing, floriculture, seed production, mushroom cultivation, nursery preparation, etc. In addition, fruits and vegetables constitute the important energy-giving material to the human body. It also improves the economic condition of many farmers, and it has become a means of improving livelihood for many unprivileged classes too. Flower harvesting, nursery maintenance, hybrid seed production and tissue culture, propagation of fruits and flowers, and food processing are highly remunerative employment options for women in rural areas.