Horticulture is a significant and upcoming sector in Karnataka. Horticulture has proved to be the best diversification option for agricultural land use, because of assured and the remunerative returns to the farmers.
· Horticultural Crops are highly remunerative.
· The diverse agro-climatic conditions prevailing in the state are quite congenial for growing different Horticulture crops, successful and profitably almost throughout the year.
· The usefulness of Horticulture has been specially felt in scanty rainfall and drought prone areas of the state, as several perennial Horticulture crops provide an effective drought proofing against the odds of the nature and assure the farmers satisfactory returns even during the years of deficit rainfall by adopting micro irrigation. This is the reason why Horticulture crops are fast replacing agriculture crops in dry tracts of the state through diversification of cropping pattern.
· Another important benefit that the farmers can avail is related to value addition of several Horticulture produce, which offers very good scope for meeting the needs of different strata of consumers.
· With the introduction of advanced horticultural technologies, there are increased opportunities for the export of better quality horticultural products.
· With the onset of protected cultivation and consequent high quality produce, the horizons of export have greatly been expanded, offering unlimited scope to hi-tech farmers in the state.
· Of late, in response to the increasing awareness for nutritional security, consumption of protective foods such as fruits and vegetables has greatly increased and this has helped to hike the production process.
· The aesthetic needs of the people are also warranting for expanding the demands for flowers and their products, resulting in an incredible boost for floriculture, be traditional or hi-tech.
The Department of Horticulture is responsible for the overall development of Horticulture in the state. The Department is adopting a definite policy for the development of Horticulture, covering the following mandate.
· Area expansion under Horticulture crops based on agro-climatic suitability.
· Production and distribution of quality planting materials of various Horticultural plants.
· Dissemination of advanced Horticultural technology.
· Giving boost to dry land horticulture.
· Helping the farmers to achieve water economy through special irrigation techniques.
· Promoting hi-tech horticulture.
· Assisting the farmers in availing credit assistance.
· Organizing effective plant protection programmes.
· Providing post harvest and marketing assistance.
· Encouraging Organic cultivation methods.
· Helping the farmers in value addition and export of Horticultural produce
· Achieving high degree of human resource development. (HRD)
· Providing support to the research organizations, especially to solve the burning field problems faced by the farmers.