The Horticulture (fruits including nuts, vegetables including potato, tuber crops, mushroom, ornamental plants including cut flowers, spices, plantation crops and medicinal and aromatic plants) has become a key drivers for economic development in many of the states in the country and it contributes 30.4 per cent to GDP of agriculture, which calls for technology-led development, where Division of Horticulture of ICAR is playing a pivotal role. The research priorities are for genetic resource enhancement and its utilization, enhancing the efficiency of production and reducing the losses in environment friendly manner.
- Effective management, enhancement, evaluation and valuation of genetic resources and development of improved cultivars, with high quality characteristics, productivity, resistance to pest and disease and tolerant to abiotic stresses.
- Development of technologies to improve the efficiency of breeding to develop cultivars, which meet market needs including taste, freshness, health benefit and convenience beside resistant to biotic and abiotic stress.
- Increasing the value of production by reducing variability in yield, quality, reducing crop loss and increasing marketability through development and site specific technologies for different horticultural crops.
- Developing system for productive use of nutrients, water and reducing impact of pest and disease through the use of innovative diagnostic techniques.
- Improve the understanding of interaction between native ecosystem and production system and develop best practices to conserve biodiversity and sustainable use of resource.
- Develop the production system that minimizes the production of wastes and maximizes the re-use of waste.
- Enhancing the shelf life of perishable fruits, vegetables, flowers, product diversification and value addition for better profitability.
- Understand social needs of communities and build the capabilities for practice the change for effective utilization of resources and adoption of technologies and respond to needs including bio-security needs.