The NHM, a centrally-sponsored scheme, was launched in 2005-06 with one of its major objectives being to increase horticulture production and doubling farmers’ income. Horticulture production in India has more than doubled approximately from 146 million tonnes in 2001-02 to 314 million tonnes in 2018-19 whereas the production of food grain increased from 213 million tonnes to 285 million tonnes during the same period.
India is now self-sufficient in food grain production and is the largest global producer of several different farm products. It is also is the second-largest producer of several horticulture products, especially fruit and vegetables.
Just before the launch of the NHM, the production of horticulture crop was approximately 167 million tonnes, using only 9.7% of the cropped area (18.5 million hectare); the total food grain production was 198 million tonnes, covering 63% (120 million hectare) of total crop area of the country.
In 2012-13, total horticulture production at 269 million tonnes, surpassed total food grain production at 257 million tonnes.
The area under horticulture crops increased to 25.5 million hectare in 2018-19, which is 20% of the total area under food grain, and produced 314 million tonnes. However, the area under total food grain declined from 129 million hectare in 2016-17 to 124 million hectare in 2018-19.
The most notable factor behind this is that the productivity of horticulture has increased from 8.8 tonnes per hectare in 2001-02 to 12.3 tonnes per hectare in 2018-19. The productivity of total food grain increased from 1.7 tonnes per hectare to 2.3 tonnes during the same period.