Agriculture is the heart and soul of Haryana. One of the traditional occupations of the state, agriculture is central to the rural economy of the state. The need of a changing socio-economic and natural environment, however, makes it important for horticulture to be developed in Haryana as a viable alternative or even as a supplement to traditional agriculture.
In Haryana, horticulture is the preferred occupation in districts such as Hisar, Bhiwani, Fatehabad, Sirsa, and Jhajjar where many block have undulating areas unsuitable for agriculture. The farmers of these areas need extensive support in changing over from the traditional crops to flowers, fruits, and vegetables. Apart from understanding farming techniques, the horticulturists will also require much support in combating pests and insects that spoil these crops. The state administration needs to step in and actively initiate such measures.
The cultivation of newer hybrid fruits and vegetables is imperative for the development of horticulture in the state. Emphasis on this aspect of development is sadly missing in the state. The state administration needs to enlist the aid of researchers from the state's agricultural university for development of newer breeds and varieties of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. For this the university and researchers require grants and financial aids, plantation and farmers require subsidies and aid to obtain these seeds and saplings. Once harvested, the horticultural sector also requires the state administration's aid in marketing and promoting the produce. There are no significant efforts to develop or showcase Haryana's exemplary horticultural legacy.
The newer innovations and product demands in horticulture need to be tapped into if we are to craft a Haryana that is progressive and if our state is to become the hub of horticultural supplies. Many varieties of edible mushrooms are now in demand in India and all over the world. Introduction of mushroom farming, cleaning, processing, and packaging is important to utilise the untapped potential of Haryana's horticulture to its optimum.
Horticulture development also requires different irrigation systems. Haryana is the seat of many industries and home to thousands of factories. Yet, there is sadly little effort on the state government's part to develop newer irrigation systems suited to the needs of orchards, gardens, and fruit farms.
The lack of emphasis on horticulture in Haryana is disconcerting. The potential to grow and trade in newer products is latent and the state government's efforts to enhance the prosperity and well-being of the farmers is next to negligible. In a country where failed crops lead to mass suicides by farmers, horticulture could turn to be a lifeline for the state.