Horticulture has the challenge of mass scale multiplication of any species of plants for commercial purpose. It encompasses cultivations of plants, vegetables, flowers, fruits, herbs & shrubs as well as ornamental tress. Landscaping for gardens, maintaining plant nurseries, green houses, orchards, plantation and floriculture or cultivation of flowers are also included in this career avenue.
In India, this industry is second largest producer of vegetables and fruits all over world. Here, horticulture has been accorded a
cent-percent Export Oriented Unit (EOU) status.
Horticulture is primarily concerned with control of plant's growth environment, usually in green houses or plants beds, this is done by
controlling soil, water and temperature. Plant propagation is the most important activity of horticulturists. Seed technology, water management & conservation, soil management, plant pathology, entomology, weed and pest control, packaging technology, cargo management, floriculture as well as marketing and sales are other areas of work.
Other branches for specialization are Pomology i.e. cultivation of fruits, Olericulture i.e. cultivation of vegetables, Ornamental horticulture, Medical horticulture or Horticulture therapy, Hydrophonics, Phytopathology, Viticulture, Landscape horticulture, Crop science, Horticulture taxonomy, Urban horticulture and Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA).
Students, after passing 10+2 examination from any recognized board or University with Physics, Chemistry, Biology or Agriculture can get admission in graduation course i.e. B.Sc. Horticulture conducted by various institutes spread all over India. Selected Institutes offer diploma courses too.
Prospects in Horticulture are bright. Horticulturists work in governmental horticulture departments; in fruit and flower, tea, cashew nut and coffee plantations as well as large and small nurseries. Besides the option of starting their own business, horticulturists can also find work in landscaping assignments with architectural companies. These professionals are engaged in export of flowers and fruits too.
Growing export market has opened up jobs in Research & Development, packaging, breeding, cargo management and mainstream horticulture. After getting specialization, teaching is also an alternate.
Horticulturists, who work on field start with a salary of Rs.5,000 to Rs.10,000/- per month depends on nature of organization.
Marketing personnel can expect to begin at Rs.10,000/- per month from any reputed company. Packaging and cargo managers earn about Rs.6,000/- per month at entry level. Following in time, with five years experience, they can expect to earn between Rs.10,000/- to Rs.15,000/- per month.