In recent years, production of fruits and vegetables has overtaken the food grain production in India. While highlighting its growth drivers, discuss the comparative advantage enjoyed by horticulture sector vis-à-vis food grains cultivation in the country.
Agriculture employs around 49 per cent of India’s population. However, agriculture has seen slow pace in recent times. In the year 2014-15 agriculture grew only at the rate of 1.1 per cent.
When we compare Horticulture which includes fruits and vegetables to food grain production, it is considered to be Indian farming’s bright spot. There are certain growth drivers of this segment-
- Better and higher incomes have led to a diversification of diet from cereals to fruits and vegetables.
- Higher consumption of fruits and vegetable.
The comparative advantage enjoyed by horticulture sector vis-à-vis food grains cultivation in the country are-
- Assured irrigation.
- Immune to monsoon deficits.
- Fruits and vegetables are mostly grown by marginal and small farmers (with less than 2 hectare of land). This means that resource-poor farmers are likely to have benefitted most from the growth in horticulture sector.