Topic 1 Definition, Importance, Scope and Problems in Vegetable Production

Horticulture Guruji

Definition, Importance, Scope, and Problems in Vegetable Production

Vegetable Science

Many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are found in vegetables. Regular intake of the recommended amount of vegetables keeps human health. Due to deficiency of minerals and vitamins, many disorders or diseases occur in the human body, which is eradicated by regular intake of vegetables. Vegetables also have an important contribution to agricultural science, so it is necessary to study vegetable science. In order to understand the topic of vegetable science completely, It is necessary to know the definition of vegetables, their importance, the scope and the problems encountered in their production of vegetables. This chapter has focused on this topic.

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Vegetables are defined as edible herbaceous plants/plant parts consumed as raw or after cooking and rich in vitamins and minerals low in calorific value“.

Olericulture:- The word olericulture consists of two Latin language words ‘Oleri‘ is taken from Latin’s ‘Olus’ or ‘Holus‘ meaning from pot herb/vegetable and ‘culture’ means cultivation. That is why olericulture is the branch of horticulture in which the production of vegetables is studied.

Importance of Vegetables:-

  1. Vegetables are rich in basic and protective elements:-

    • Vegetables are found in carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, vitamins, etc., vegetables eliminate the acidity that arises at the time of digestion in the body and creates initials. Vitamins eliminate physically occurring effects.
    • 10 minerals and carbohydrates, proteins are essential for the proper development of the body.

Table 1: Nutrient, source, and deficiency symptoms of vegetables.

Sr. No. Type of mineral/ vitamin & their role  Name of the vegetables  Deficiency symptoms 
1. Carbohydrates: Giving Energy Tuber vegetables ie., potato, sweet potato, tapioca, and yams. Reduction in Growth 
2. Proteins: The formation of amino acids, body growth, and repair of the body Immature seeds of lima bean, broad bean, peas, garlic, onion, etc. Retarded growth, retarded mental development, skin spots (discoloration of the skin), swelling of leg and feet
3. Calcium: The bones help to become teeth and blood clot (Important for bones, teeth, blood clotting), enlarges the repulsive strength (against resistance infection) Amaranthus, cauliflower, drumstick leaves, lettuce, methi, carrot, onion, turnip, green peas, tomato, coriander, spinach, cabbage. Irritability, bone weakness.
4. Iron: Essential part of red blood corpuscles. Moringa-leaves, amaranthus, methi, mint, coriander, drumstick, spinach. Anemia, pale tongue, pale lips.
5. Phosphorus: Cell multiplication, proper maintenance of liquid content in the tissue), role in the oxidation of carbohydrates Potato, carrot, tomato, cucumber, spinach, cauliflower, lettuce, onion. Reduction in Growth 
6. Vitamin A: Provides general health Carrot, spinach, palak, leafy vegetables, sweet potato (yellow), pumpkin (yellow). Night blindness, Respiratory infections, kidney stones, rough skin,  decrease in children’s development
7. Vitamin B complex:
a) Thiamin (B1)
b) Riboflavin(B2)
c) Niacin (B5)
d) Pyridoxin(B6)
Peas, broad bean, lima bean, garlic, asparagus, corns, tomatoes a) Beriberi: loss of appetite  b)  red cracks on the oral c) Sore tongue, pellagra 
d) Ulcer
8. Vitamin C: Essential for growth and resistance against diseases. Turnip, green chili, brussels sprout, mustard, green leafy vegetables, cole crops, bitter gourd, radish Scurvy), dental bleeding gums, loss of energy, delay in wound healing 
9. Vitamin D: Essential for bone and teeth Green leafy vegetables Bone and teeth weakness.
10. Vitamin E: Antisterility and Essential for Reproduction Cabbage, lettuce, methi, spinach, and vegetable oils Fertility is affected
11. Cellulose and fiber: add digestion and prevent constipation Leafy vegetables (Cabbage, Spinach, Lettuce), most root crops Digestive deficiency and constipation problems

2. Yield higher than per unit area (More yield per unit area)

Vegetables are not only nutritional, but they also get higher yields per acre than other crops. The table below contains the yield of some crops:-

Table 2: Comparison of the yield of vegetables and cereals 



Average yield/ha in quintals


Wheat (Wheat)














3. More net returns per unit area per day

Vegetables are ripening quickly and after a short period of sowing, the daily earnings of vegetables are high and the difference can also be availed from the crop.

4. Role in Agro-Forestry 

Many vegetables can be grown in vacant land between trees at present many trees are used for timber cultivation in the early age of these trees can be taken up with vegetables like turmeric, ginger, etc.

5. Employment of great number of manpower per unit area

These create more jobs because of the condensation of vegetables. Vegetables require manpower to make daily turning, weeding, plant protection, support, irrigation, processing industries also require more workers

6. Suitability for intercropping resulting in greater intensity of cropping:

Vegetables can be planted as intercropping in the garden of perennial trees throughout the year and more than two crops can be taken in a year due to the short life of vegetables. That makes greater cropping intensity.

7. Flexibility in production program:

Crops can be changed according to the benefit of the benefit from a crop is decreasing, the vegetable crop can be changed due to short duration. While this cannot be done with other crops because they are long-term.

8. Artistic/Artistic of Vegetables Aesthetic value of vegetables

When a garden of vegetables is planted at home, the beauty of the house is grown and the members of the House can find themselves happy by associating themselves with horticulture, adding the children of the House to the cultivation of vegetables and their knowledge can be strengthened, which will reduce the cost of the house and the women of the House can use their spare time to grow vegetables.

Scope of Vegetable Production

  • China is the largest producer of vegetables in world followed by India.
  • According to NHB (2021-22), India has witnessed an increase in horticulture production over the last few years. Significant progress has been made in area expansion resulting in higher production. During 2021-22, the production of horticulture crops was 342.33 Million Tonnes from an area of 28.75 million Hectares. The production of vegetables has increased from 101.2 Million Tonnes to 204.84 Million Tonnes from 2004-05 to 2021-22. The area under vegetables cultivation was 11.35 million hectares (NHB 2021-22)
  • According to FAO (2021), India is the largest producer of ginger and okra among vegetables and second in the production of potato, onion, cauliflower, brinjal, cabbage, etc.
  • This huge production base provides tremendous opportunities for exports to India. During 2022-23, India exports fresh fruits and vegetables worth INR 13185.30 Crore / US$ 1635.95 Million. Which included fresh vegetables worth Rs. 6,965.83 Crore/ US$ 865.24 Million.
  • Onions, mixed vegetables, potatoes, tomatoes, and green chilies contribute largely to the vegetable export basket.
  • India produces 13.38% of the world’s vegetable production.
  • Vegetables are produced in 2.8% of the entire agricultural land area.
  • West Bengal ranks first in the area and production followed by UP and Bihar.
  • According to ICMR, a healthy person should consume 300 grams of vegetables per day. But at present 145 g/s will be used for the last 145 grams. Day vegetables are available. Much of which is low.

Table 3: Production of vegetables in leading states of India (2018- 19)

Area ( 000′ ha)
Production (000′ tonnes)
Uttar Pradesh
1256.27 IInd
27703.82 IInd
West Bengal
1490.39 Ist
29545.23 Ist
872.55 IIIrd
16699.84 IIIrd
Tamil Nadu
12552.15 IVth
649.79 IVth
Andra Pradesh
All India Total
Source: Indian horticulture database, (2018-19)

  • Vegetables contribute to the economy of the country thousands of farmers, businessmen, and industries (seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, vegetables with pesticides, etc.) are dependent on vegetables.
  • India’s geographical condition varies from region to market for vegetable production, which has immense potential for seed production and fresh vegetable production. In 2006-07, 430.2 crore vegetables were exported from India, out of which 75% of onions were exported in addition to this
  • Potatoes, okra, bitter gourd, chili, etc. are also exported.

Production Share of various Horticulture crops (in %)

  • The vegetable sector in India in 2017-18 was 10.26 million hectares and production was 184.40 million tonnes.

  • In addition to the main vegetables, other vegetables like asparagus, celery, capsicum, sweet corn, peas, rajma, etc., are also being exported, but they need to be taken care of now, call crops and root vegetables are in a very demanding way in cold countries because the cost of production is high, these vegetables are grown there in the glass house or in the greenhouse. Indian vegetables are in great demand in countries like Europe and the United States, which has immense potential for vegetable production

Problems and prospects of vegetable production in India

The industries involved in Indian vegetables are developing rapidly. However, there are many problems which are as follows:

  1. Vegetables are perishable quickly 

Fresh vegetables are similar to organisms, with actions still going on after the tudai, they are respiration, out of which water is deficient in emissions, there are other chemical changes. Vegetables also get worse due to temperature, high humidity. Leafy vegetables are quickly spoiled by tuber and root crops. Every year in our country thousands of tonnes of vegetables get spoiled without proper maintenance.

2. Ignoring the nutritional value of vegetables:

Many people do not have the knowledge about the nutrients of vegetables, which they ignore vegetables, most people in the country live in villages and are less educated, they do not know about the vitamins and minerals found in vegetables and they do not use or produce vegetables.

3. Illiteracy and lack of technical knowledge of scientific cultivation:

No scientific cultivation of vegetables is available to farmers which can be considered adequate. Because it is difficult to choose varieties for a particular area without any literature, to control diseases and pests, to find out the methods of over yielding. But at present ICAR New Delhi, CFTRI Mysore and State Agricultural University are publishing books, journals, journals on scientific cultivation of vegetables and new technology, but are still beyond the reach of farmers.

4. Lack of transportation facility:

Timely and fast access to perishable vegetables is very important at low cost, but in many areas there is still no proper system of transportation of produce from which the product gets worse along the way. Many villages are still not connected by road, which does not transport vegetables on time.

5. Lack of adequate storage facilities:

Vegetables can be used for a long time if vegetables are stored at the right temperature and humidity, but in India, this facility is confined only to big cities, which is also more costly. The farmer cannot afford the expenditure. Which spoils the farmer’s yield or has to sell it at a lower price.

6. Non-availability of sufficient quantity of quality seed in time:

Seed production in India is mostly with private agencies from which seeds of agatti and pakti vegetables are not able to reach the kerosene in time. There is also a suspicion of quality due to private agencies. National Seed Corporation, New Delhi is preparing hybrid seeds of some vegetables directly or reaching out to vegetable growers through branches but which is not sufficient.

7. Malpractice in Marketing :

The process of marketing starts with the use of vegetables and continues till the buyer reaches out to the buyer. But, today, because of the high number of products, the fair price of the product is not available to the farmer or the vegetable producer, nor does the buyer get it at a reasonable price. And the Vicholia earns a hefty income.

8. Problem of pests, diseases, and weeds:

Vegetables are of a more delicate nature, which is more than the crops and grains of pests, diseases.

9. Lack of irrigation facilities:

Vegetables require light and continuous irrigation but some areas do not have a proper system of irrigation during summer. Some multi-year and long-term crops occur only when there is the proper irrigation system.

10. Lack of research, technical guidance, and sufficient capital:

No coordinated scheme was running in the country before 1970 at present many coordinated projects all over the country are running on different vegetables, but the vegetable growers in the country have not yet developed so much that they can afford to cultivate in a modern way. Which can increase the quality of production and product.

All Types of Horticultural Crops