Horticulture is now a challenging profession that has expanded the industry of multibillion dollars. The Horticulture department of this university is in full confidence to prepare the responsible students by imparting research-oriented quality education to meet such challenges. The area of Horticulture is highly technological that encompasses production and management of food crops grown on-farm as well as under controlled environmental conditions. In addition to the provision of knowledge-based services, another beneficial aspect of horticulture is the marketing and utilization of intensively cultivated value-added crops. A brighter face of Horticultural education is to prepare the driven force of human resource that mainly comprise of competent and confident Horticulture Experts, Researchers, Educators, Consultants, Landscape Designers, Technical Growers, Technicians and Gardeners. The introduction of product development in Horticulture, as result of latest research, is gaining momentum consequently a strong bond of relationship has been knotted between horticulture and other emerging technologies. Overall, the area of Horticulture plays a pivotal role in sustainable agriculture thus sharing to strengthen the economy of a country.
The horticulture produce can be exported in fresh and processed form. According to modern estimates, there are high prospects to earn foreign exchange to the tune of US $ 4.00 billion within next few years from export of horticultural commodities and their products. Now our instant responsibility is to train our students to meet the challenges posed by WTO on our exportable products.
Presently the department is awfully engaged in conducting professional degree courses of B. Sc (Hons), M. Sc (Hons) and Ph.D. The department deals with three main disciplines of fruits, vegetables and floriculture & landscaping. The major areas of research are mentioned below:
· Adaptation of Crop Varieties
· Biotechnology for Genetic Crop Improvement /Synthetic Seed Technology
· Micro-propagation through Tissue Culture Technology and Macro-propagation
· Post-harvest Physiology/Technology
· Protected Cultivation (off season & on season crops)
· Hydroponics/Soilless Culture Technology
· Landscape Improvement and Designing
· Germplasm Evaluation
· Studies on Value-addition of Horticultural Crops
The department is equipped with the following facilities to undertake the research-oriented studies for the students.
· Two fully equipped laboratories for Biotechnology/Tissue Culture research
· One fully equipped laboratory for analytical studies
· Farm area for vegetable research
· Farm area for fruit (temperate, sub-tropical & tropical) research
· Farm area for ornamental crops research
· Cold storage for germplasm collection and post-harvest studies
· Sterilization chamber
· A computational programmed incubator for physiological studies
· Well equipped glasshouses and Mist-propagation Unit for hydroponics & micro-propagation research
· Green-netted Lath-houses for house plants conservation
· Three high tunnels (plastic & green-netted) for off-season and soilless crop production
· A shade-house for plant hardening
· One Chinese Solar Greenhouse and Korean vinyl-house
The department faculty members are practically involved in various projects (topics include pathogen-free crops, soilless and soil-based crops, bulbous crops, medicinal plants, uses of edible coating for enhancement of shelf life, organic farming, Protected cultivation of different vegetables and uses of biotechnological tools for crop improvement) thus sharing the horticulture industry. Not only we generate and extend knowledge for enhancing the food quality but also improve the environmental condition of our people. Horticultural landscape designing in our country has developed focal interest amongst the students of both genders. Therefore, due to overwhelming response, the department is concentrating to provide all possible facilities in collaboration with the other organizations to polish and train such students with futuristic approach.
So far, Department has produced 327 and 105 undergraduate and postgraduate students respectively. Most of them are serving in government departments and private organizations of the country. Some of them proceed abroad for higher studies. Similarly, research work of members of faculty has been published in journals of national and international repute. About 200 papers have been published by the department and conducted 10 training courses on tunnel farming and kitchen gardening, and one Plant Tissue Culture Lab Tech, Nursery Management, Home Gardening, Professional Floristry and Flower Arrangement each.
So where does the department of horticulture at PMAS-AAUR fit into the picture? Well the answer is found right here on our website and we are as proud of it as our faculty, staff and students