The push to help farmers diversify and improve their income is expected to see a record 331.05 million tonnes horticulture crops production in 2020-21, an increase of 10.6 million tonnes or 3.3 per cent rise over the previous year, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said releasing the third advance estimate of horticulture crop production on Friday.
Over the years, the area under horticulture has been rising steadily. In 2020-21, the total area under horticulture crops is estimated to be 27.59 million hectares as against final data of 26.48 million hectares in 2019-2020.
Giving a break-up of the horticulture crops production, the minister stated that fruits production in 2020-21 is expected to be 103 million tonnes as against 102.1 million tonnes in the previous year, while vegetable production has risen from 188.3 million tonnes to 197.2 million tonnes.
Among vegetable crops, onion production is estimated to have risen from 26.1 million tonnes to 26.8 million tonnes, while potato production is expected to be a record 54.2 million tonnes, 5.6 million tonnes higher than in the previous year.
Similarly, in the case of tomatoes, India is expecting 21.1 million tonnes production as compared to 20.6 million tonnes in the previous year.
Fruits production in 2020-21 is expected to be 16.6 million tonnes, as against 16.1 million tonnes in the previous year, while spices production is estimated to be 10.7 million tonnes, 5.3 per cent higher than in the previous year.
India is the largest horticulture crop producer in the world, however, due to inadequate infrastructure and just 10 per cent being channelled into food processing, over 30 per cent of produce gets damaged. The government through some new initiatives is striving to reduce this loss by promoting and incentivizing food processing and improved storage infrastructure.