Horticulture, Floriculture, Commercial crops, Bamboo Production – MIDH, NFSM-CC, etc.

Horticulture, Floriculture, Commercial crops, Bamboo Production – MIDH, NFSM-CC, etc.

People cutting down Neelakurinji plants to be finedPrelims OnlyPriority 1


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Neelakurinji Flowers

Mains level: Not Much


Fine for plucking

  1. Tamil Nadu government has announced a novel scheme for the protection of the exotic Neela kurinji (Strobilanthus kunthianus) plants that flower only once in 12 years.
  2. These rare and ecologically unique flowers are being packaged and sold on the commercial basis.
  3. The district administration put up a prominent notice board near the forest patch where the flower was blooming, that people caught plucking flowers would be fined Rs. 5,000.



  1. Kurinji or Neelakurinji (Strobilanthes kunthianus) is a shrub that is found in the shola forests of the Western Ghats in South India.
  2. Nilgiri Hills, which literally means the blue mountains, got their name from the purplish blue flowers of Neelakurinji that blossoms only once in 12 years.
  3. It is the most rigorously demonstrated, with documented bloomings in 1838, 1850, 1862, 1874, 1886, 1898, 1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 and 2018
  4. Some Kurinji flowers bloom once every seven years, and then die. Their seeds subsequently sprout and continue the cycle of life and death.
  5. The Paliyan tribal people living in Tamil Nadu used it as a reference to calculate their age.
Horticulture, Floriculture, Commercial crops, Bamboo Production – MIDH, NFSM-CC, etc.

[pib] Setting up of Vegetable ClustersGovt. SchemesPIBPrelims Only


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: MIDH

Mains level: Schemes for promoting Horticulture


Mission for Integrated Development Horticulture (MIDH)

  1. MIDH a centrally sponsored scheme is implemented for the holistic development of horticulture sector in the country.
  2. Aim: Promote holistic growth of horticulture sector, including bamboo and coconut through area based regionally differentiated strategies, which includes research, technology promotion, extension, post harvest management, processing and marketing, in consonance with comparative advantage of each State/region and its diverse agro-climatic features.
  3. It covers fruits, vegetables, roots and tuber crops, mushrooms, spices, flowers, aromatic plants, coconut, cashew, cocoa and bamboo through various interventions.
  4. While Government of India (GOI) contributes 85% of total outlay for developmental programmes in all the states except the states in North East and Himalayas, 15% share is contributed by State Governments.
  5. In the case of North Eastern States and Himalayan States, GOI contribution is 100%.

New cluster based approach under MIDH

  1. Under MIDH, cluster-based approach is adopted for production and linking it with available infrastructure, or to be created, for post harvest management, processing, marketing and export.
  2. The cluster preference is given to those areas where natural resource base and water resources have been developed.
  3. Special emphasis is also given for adoption of area based cluster approach towards developing regionally differentiated crops, which are agro-climatically most suitable for the State/region.
  4. However, the details of clusters including vegetables are not maintained at the Central level.
Horticulture, Floriculture, Commercial crops, Bamboo Production – MIDH, NFSM-CC, etc.

Invasive beetle threatens Japan’s famed cherry blossoms

Image source


Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Aromia bungii, red-necked longhorn beetle, hanami

Mains level: Invasive species entering countries via imports and their ill effects

Invasive foreign beetle affecting cherry blossoms

  1. In Japan’s capital, delicate pink and white cherry blossoms are emerging, but the famed blooms are facing a potentially mortal enemy
  2. The alien invader is Aromia bungii
  3. In serious cases, an infestation can kill a tree
  4. The species may have entered in Japan with imported wood materials

About the species

  1. The beetles live inside cherry and plum trees, stripping them of their bark
  2. They are otherwise known as the red-necked longhorn beetle
  3. It is native to China, Taiwan, the Korean peninsula and northern Vietnam

Japan’s cherry blossom

  1. The appearance of cherry blossoms is hotly anticipated each year
  2. The blooms attract tourists but also locals who organize hanami or viewing parties in cherry-blossom hotspots
Horticulture, Floriculture, Commercial crops, Bamboo Production – MIDH, NFSM-CC, etc.

Horticulture crop output seen at record 305.4 mt in 2017-18


Mains Paper 3: Agriculture | Major crops cropping patterns in various parts of the country,

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: What is horticulture?

Mains level: Specially mentioned in the syllabus


Data on Horticultural produce

  1. Production of horticulture crops like vegetables and fruits is likely to touch a record 305.4 million tonnes (mt) in 2017-18, about 1.6% higher than the previous year and 8% higher than the previous five years’ average
    (source: Agriculture ministry)

What it shows?

  1. The data suggests a structural change in Indian agriculture where farmers are increasingly growing perishable commercial crops due to a growing market and a quicker cash flow as these crops require less time from sowing to marketing

Risk for farmers

  1. Price volatility continues to be a major risk in horticulture, with prices of onions, tomatoes and potatoes plunging below growing costs several times last year
  2. Retail and wholesale prices of perishables are also at a large variance from each other, implying fragmented markets and poor cold chain facilities


What is Horticulture?

  1. Horticulture is the science and art of growing (plants) – fruits, vegetables, flowers, and any other cultivar
  2. It also includes plant conservation, landscape restoration, soil management, landscape and garden design, construction, and maintenance, and arboriculture
  3. In contrast to agriculture, horticulture does not include large-scale crop production or animal husbandry
  4. Horticulturists apply their knowledge, skills, and technologies used to grow intensively produced plants for human food and non-food uses and for personal or social needs
  5. Their work involves plant propagation and cultivation with the aim of improving plant growth, yields, quality, nutritional value, and resistance to insects, diseases, and environmental stresses
  6. They work as gardeners, growers, therapists, designers, and technical advisors in the food and non-food sectors of horticulture. Horticulture even refers to the growing of plants in a field or garden
Horticulture, Floriculture, Commercial crops, Bamboo Production – MIDH, NFSM-CC, etc.

Rise in cotton output likely in northern States

  1. Though farmers have sown less cotton this kharif season, the production in key northern States is likely to be higher in 2016-17 against 2015-16
  2. Reason: This is because of expectation of better yield due to conducive weather conditions
  3. In north India, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan are the major cotton producing States
  4. After the GM cotton crop suffered huge damage last year in Punjab and Haryana due to the whitefly pest attack, distressed farmers had sown less cotton this year
  5. The whitefly pest attack had caused extensive damage to Bt cotton varieties last year in Punjab and Haryana
  6. It resulted in a drop of nearly 40 per cent in production
Horticulture, Floriculture, Commercial crops, Bamboo Production – MIDH, NFSM-CC, etc.

Cotton production estimates revised downwards

  1. News: The Cotton Advisory Board brought down its estimates for domestic cotton production for the current season by 4% and revised upwards its estimates of imports
  2. Reason: Pink Bollworm and Whitefly problems in major cotton producing States such as Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, and part of Maharashtra
  3. Cotton prices: Went up because of China declaring lower stocks and due to speculation
  4. Indian cotton prices this year are 10% more than international prices

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