India’s horticulture production is estimated to have increased 1.4 per cent to a record high of 351.92 million tonnes (mt) in 2022-23 crop year (July-June) from 347.18 mt in 2021-22, on higher productivity. While the production of fruits, vegetables, spices and plantation crops has increased, that of onion and tomato have declined.

According to the second advance estimates of the area and production of various horticultural crops released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare on Wednesday, “fruit production is estimated to be 108.34 mt in 2022-23 up from 107.51 mt in 2021-22 and vegetables at 212.91 mt against 209.14 mt in 2021-22.

Farmers’ hard work

Along with foodgrains, horticulture is also continuously recording record production in the country, which is the result of the hard work of our farmers, the efficiency of scientists and the farmer-friendly policies of the central government,” said Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. Production of fruits, vegetables, plantation crops, flowers and honey is estimated to have increased, he said.

Production of plantation crops has increased to 16.05 mt in 2022-23 from 15.76 mt in 2021-22. Potato output is expected to be 60.54 mt compared with 56.18 mt a year ago.

Data withheld

Deviating from past practices, the government has released partial data of crops as it did not want to show where there was a drop in production in view of ongoing State elections, sources said. Though potato output has been announced since there was an increase, the Ministry has withheld the data of other two key essential items onion and tomato due to a decline, the sources said.

In the first estimate, onion production was pegged at 31.1 mt down from 31.69 mt in 2021-22 and it is believed to have further declined to lower than 31 mt, the sources said. Tomato production was estimated at 20.62 mt against the previous 20.69 mt in first estimate.