Importance of Horticulture
1. Per Unit Area Yield is High:
As compared to the field crops per hectare yield of horticulture crops is very high.
From an fruit area of land more yield is obtained e.g. paddy gives a maximum yield of only 30 q/ha, while Banana gives 300 to 500 q/ha, Pine apple 450 q/ha and Grapes 90 – 150 q/ha. In present shortage of food and scarcity of land by growing fruits more food can be produced.
2. High Returns per Unit Area:
From one unit area of land more income will be obtained e.g. Well kept orchard of apple, grapes and sweet orange can give as much as Rs. 25,000 per ha as net income.
3. A Free Grower/Labour Remains Engaged for the Whole:
An opportunity for maintaining labours throughout the year like the cereals where one cannot keep him self and employ the labours during the slack season.
4. Best Utilization of Waste Land:
Some fruit crops can offer best utilization of waste land crops like wood apple, custard apple, karonda, litchi etc. can be grown in such areas.
5. To meet the annual calories requirements of food per year one would have to cultivate about 0.44 ha of wheat or 0.03 ha of banana or 0.06 ha of mango for satisfying once need. Thus mango produces about 9 times more food energy than the wheat produced per unit area.
6. Raw Material for Industries:
Fruit farming is the base for several industries like canning, essential oils etc which in turn provide work for more people.
7. Use of Undulating Lands:
Fruit growing can be practiced in places where the gradient is uneven or where the land is undulating and agronomical crops cannot be cultivated. In Konkan region, mango and cashew are cultivated on large scales on hilly and hill back area.
8. Fruits and vegetables are the important energy giving material to the human body