The Agriculture Ministry has raised the production estimate of horticulture crops of the 2022-23 season (July 2022-June 2023) further by twoper cent. It has projected the 2022-23 output at over 355 million tonnes (mt) against 347 mt in 2021-22. The latest revision is marginally higher than the second estimate of 351.92 mt. So far, no estimate has been released on the current season’s expected horticulture crops’ output as the growing season is too widespread from State to State.

Despite challenges surrounding climate change, horticulture production has gone up, thanks to efforts of farmers and agri-scientists, Agriculture Minister Arjun Munda said in a statement.

Per the third estimate released by the Agriculture Ministry, the total production of horticulture crops has increased by 8.07 mt (or 2.32 per cent) to 355.25 mt i from 347.18 mt in 2021-22.

Trouble in onion?

Fruits production is estimated to have gone up to 109.53 mt in 2022-23 from 107.51 mt in the previous year while vegetable output has increased to 213.88 mt from 209.14 mt.

Potato production is estimated to have increased to 60.22 mt as against 56.18 mt in the previous year, but tomato output dropped to 20.37 mt from 20.69 mt. However, the government has not released the output estimate of onion, though for 2022-23, fearing a price rise. There has been a further drop in third estimate from 30.2 mt in second estimate, sources said. Onion production was 31.7 mt in 2021-22.

“Both in fruits and vegetables, the area got declined and still the production was higher. This shows the yield level has increased and the efforts of scientists in developing higher yielding varieties have been fruitful in raising the production amid growing demands,” said a senior scientist of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

Though the overall coverage under the horticulture crops increased marginally to 28.34 million hectares (mh) in 2022-23 from 28.04 mh the previous year, the vegetables area dipped to 11.36 mh from 11.37 mh and that of fruits to 7 mh from 7.06 mh. There are also aromatic and medicinal (fruits and herbs), flowers, honey, plantation crops (arecanut, cashewnut, cocoa, coconut) and spices whose production are included in the estimate of horticulture output.