Mango is the most important fruit cultivated in the country and banana comes next in rank occupying second position. Mango can be cultivated in a varied climatic conditions and different types of soil. The notable places for the cultivation of mangoes in India are the states of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka and Maharashtra. Banana is cultivated over an area of 1,64,000 hectares, mostly in West Bengal, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and Assam. After Mango and Banana, which holds the first and second positions respectively, citrus fruits rank third in area and production, Guava is the fourth most widely grown fruit crop and Grapes occupies fifth position amongst fruit crops in India.
Cultivation of Deciduous Fruits in India
Deciduous fruit cultivation in India primarily takes place in the northern parts of country in Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh. The north-east, including Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim and Manipur, also produce several deciduous fruits in a restricted scale. As a result of initiation and preparation of low chilling cultivars including plum, peach and pear, these are presently grown commercially in several regions of plains of North India.
Amongst the umpteen healthy and palatable deciduous fruit cultivation in India, apple calls for special attention. In the year 1917, the coloured delicious apple cultivation was introduced in Shimla. Another Indian fruit is Apricot which was seen growing in the drier regions of Himalayan north-western region. Recently, cultivation of sour cherry is introduced in India from the United States of America, while sweet cherry is introduced in India from Europe prior to the Independence of India. The Japanese and European plum kinds are cultivated in low and high hill areas.
Export of Fruits from India
More than 90% exports from India move to the western parts of Asia and also to the markets of Eastern Europe. Fresh vegetables and fruits export from India has steadily increased. This amplification list includes products like walnut, fresh grapes, fresh mangos and umpteen other fresh vegetables and fruits. As the new technologies and developments have gradually become readily available in the country, the cropping and cultivating systems and production practices have also remained witness to significant metamorphosis.
Some of the most prominent fruits, which are cultivated in India, include Banana, Citrus Fruits, Mango, Apple, Papaya, Pineapple, Guava and Grapes. India produces near about 41 percent of world's mangoes and around 23 percent bananas. The total export value of the main exporting fruit crop from India is mango. Mangoes, grapes, mushrooms are being exported to the United Kingdom, Middle East, Singapore and Hong Kong. These Indian fruits are also processed in several products like canned fruit, concentrates and fruit juices, dehydrated fruit, jellies and jams. Some of the reputed importers of Indian mangoes include Bangladesh, U.A.E, U.K, Nepal and Saudi Arabia. The notable places for the cultivation of mangoes in India are the states of Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Development of Fruit Cultivation in India
In order to make the thriving business, the industrial strategy of India has been expanded beginning from the lower level to the huge markets to deal globally. Fresh vegetable and fruits which are cultivated are send to the small scale vegetable and fruit suppliers, then these items are dispatched to the vegetable and fruit exporters as well as to the local markets. The last few decades recorded an all time high of number of Indian vegetable and fruit exporters and suppliers. Fruit production and cultivation in this country has witnessed a growth of near about 3.9 %, while fruit processing units have also grown about 20 % per year. However, Indian fruit cultivation depends mainly upon mango and its products which comprise about 50 % of the total export of fruits and its products.
In India, vegetable and fruit cultivation and the processing industry are largely decentralised. After liberalisation and pulling out excise duty on vegetable and fruit products, a significant rise in the industry has been recorded. Of temperate fruits, Apples, Plums, Peaches, Almonds, Apricots and Grapes are grown in abundance. While Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh lead in the fruit production of the temperate region, others are grown in various parts of peninsular India and Northern Plains. The north eastern region of India holds huge horticulture potential. States like Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Manipur have favourable soil and climatic conditions and also have great scope for temperate fruit cultivation to augment business management.
There are ample investment opportunities for the expansion of export market for fruit cultivation in India. For increasing the fruit production of India, several efforts are being taken up by the Government of India, for instance, the state government of Haryana has been lending grants for setting up orchards under the National Horticulture Mission.
Cultivation of fruits in India chiefly depends upon the quality of soils, harvest, plantation and a perfect ambience of brilliant minds. India stands second in fruit production in the world. The annual production of the fruits in India is nearly 41 million tonnes.