Horticulture and Urban Agriculture
The Horticulture and Urban Agriculture major in the Department of Plant Sciences is the branch of agriculture that focuses on the science, art, and business of cultivating edible and ornamental plants. It encompasses a wide range of activities related to the production, management, and use of plants for various purposes, including food production, ornamental landscaping, medicinal applications, and environmental conservation.
The field of horticulture includes various sub-disciplines such as pomology (fruit cultivation), olericulture (vegetable cultivation), floriculture (flower cultivation), landscape horticulture (designing and maintaining outdoor spaces), nursery management (plant propagation and sales), and turf management (care and maintenance of lawns and sports fields). Horticulturists study plant physiology, genetics, soil science, pest management, plant nutrition, plant propagation techniques, and post-harvest handling. They apply this knowledge to improve crop yields, develop new plant varieties, enhance aesthetic appeal, manage pests and diseases, conserve natural resources, and promote sustainable practices.
Horticulture and Urban Agriculture plays a vital role in ensuring food security, beautifying urban and rural landscapes, promoting human well-being through therapeutic gardens, and contributing to the conservation of biodiversity. It offers diverse career opportunities, including working in research institutions, farms, nurseries, golf courses, sport fields, landscape design firms, botanical gardens, and government agencies involved in agriculture and environmental conservation.