India 's growing horticulture sector has currently entered a revolutionary phase. On the one hand, small farmers are taking bigger risks and experimenting with diverse cash crops, and on the other, large corporate houses are taking to horticulture as a profitable business opportunity by bringing in investments and latest technologies. Corporate farming, contract farming and food retail boom having become the present day buzzwords, the entire horticulture landscape is set to witness a big change.
The 6th International Horti Expo 2014 along with 9th International Flora Expo 2014 and 3rd India Potato Expo 2014 is scheduled to be held at Chandigarh. The Event's THEME PAVILIONS will be on “Fresh Fruits & Vegetables”,"Farm Machineries & Equipment”, “Potato Products & Technologies”, "Floriculture Wealth & Technology”, “Fresh Retailing” ,”Organic”, “Agri Finance & Insurance”, “Processing & Packaging “, “Cold Chain & Logistics”, “Seed, Agrochemical & Irrigation” and “Medicinal Herbal products" .
The expo, which has as its Principal Sponsor the Ministry of Agriculture and its departments-- National Horticulture Mission, National Horticulture Board and Horticulture Mission for North East & Himalayan States is supported by Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), Food Processing & Packaging Machinery Industry Association, Irrigation Association of India, National Medicinal Plant Board and Indian Flowers and Ornamental Plants Welfare Association.
Under Ministry of Food Processing Industry, preservation and value addition at farm level is a focus area and it also ensures the supply of quality food products to end consumers. On the other hand, the Ministry of Agriculture is aiming to double the production of all horticulture crops through NHM, NHB, HMNEHS and disseminating latest and modern practices of production and post harvest care. Thereby, it is also creating opportunities of mass employment for people in rural Indians areas by encouraging them to diversify from traditional crops to high value horticulture crops. All this helps in long term economic development.
On the export front, APEDA is quite active. It is targeting agricultural and processed food exports in the range of 15-20 billion dollars in coming years.
Indian Cold Chain infrastructure is facing problems like lack of an integrated approach and efforts for effective policy formulation and information dissemination. Government investments worth Rs. 18,000 crore to Rs. 20,000 crore (42-46 Million $) are required over the next few years.
Modern Retailing in India is now the world's hottest retail destination where true retail revolution is taking shape in the form of modern food retailing, super market chains, hyper market and cash & carry concepts. All these are creating waves in the Indian corporate sector.
Organized Food & Grocery Retail requires direct sourcing of bulk produce from farmers and this ensures a great opportunity for them. Government of India is promoting modern marketing concepts and creating atmosphere in favour of Indian farmers, circumventing middlemen to increase the income of farmers. More than 5000 new outlets, 100 hypermarkets, 500 department stores and 2000 supermarkets are in pipeline. Over 6000 small and traditional outlets are going through the modernization phase.
With over 300 million middle and higher income population, India is the world's 2nd largest consumer base and fastest growing retail destination. Fresh fruits, vegetables & food intake are increasing and contribute 13% of total organized retail that offers significant scope for investment in all related sectors. A huge domestic market supports high quality export oriented F & V production & value addition by providing a unique competitive edge. India , China and Pakistan along with other countries of the region makes South Asia , the world's largest market.
Therefore, 6th International Horti Expo 2014 will be an eye opener to the farmers and other stake holders of every segment of agriculture and allied activities who want to expand and diversify their activities.