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Exploring specialized education and careers in Horticulture
Admin Feb 02 2015 07:36 AM

Horticulture is simply the science of cultivation of plants. These can include trees, grass, any kind of shrub, herbs, fruits and flowers, vegetables, and so on. And as it is a plant cultivation science which deals with the processes involved in preparing soil for the growing of seeds, or cuttings, horticulture is categorized as a sub-specialization of agriculture and is even referred as the lesser-cousin of agriculture. This is so because its scope is narrower compared to agriculture. Those involved in the profession of horticulture are called Horticulturists. These individuals plan, work and also conduct research in the practice of generation and cultivation, production, breeding and genetic engineering, biochemistry and physiology, of plants.

Courses in horticulture train candidates to become successful horticulturists. The framework of horticulture courses includes the study and application of crop yield, quality control, nutritional value optimization, pest-resistance, disease control, and environmental stress. Horticultural crops play a significant role in almost all agricultural-based economies as they are usually the most feasible option for small and medium scale farmers. They also help to improve the income of the people living in rural areas.

With ever-shrinking cultivable land and growing scarcity of natural resources, the ideal path Indian horticulture would be to diversify itself into hi-technology-based horticulture activities so as to improve the yield and quality. The Indian Institute of Horticulture Technology has been established to serve as a knowledge base and has evolved into an interactive learning centre in the fields of pre and post-production, research, harvest management and as well as value addition of crops.

Integrated horticulture courses are commonly offered by various Agriculture Universities within India. With the country being an emerging economic powerhouse, one of the key challenges faced by the government is to successfully harness the various achievements in horticulture-based technologies being developed to pave the way for future generations of horticulturists through capacity building and new methods of training traditional farmers as well as the IT-based younger generation which is the significant driving force of the economy.

So of the best institutes equipped to handle and train the next-gen horticulturist include the Agricultural College and Research Institute in Madurai, the Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University of Andhra Pradesh and the prestigious Centre For Extra Mural Studies at the University of Mumbai in Maharashtra

Choice of course
There are both long and short duration courses on horticulture.

Some of the short duration courses are
1.    Diploma course in Horticulture, Fruit Production
2.   Certificate courses – Nursery Management, Flower decoration, Agriculture and horticulture management, Roof gardening, Production of high value crops, Design and development of green houses, Production of seed species.

Other Under Graduate and Post Graduate courses are as below
1.    B.Sc. (Horticulture)
2.    M.Sc. (Horticulture, Landscaping and Flori culture)
3.    Doctorate in Horticulture

Horticulture is an art. Learn with passion for this art and reach great heights.