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Horticulture is simply described as the farming of horticultural products, including flowers, fruits, vegetables, and ornamental or fancy plants. One thing that actually sets horticulture apart from other types of agriculture is the intensive knowledge, skills, and technologies applied to yield high-value harvests, sustainably.
The history of horticulture goes as far back as ancient Persia, during the times of Cyrus II. There is also some evidence of horticulture (cultivation of yam and taro) in Papua New Guinea, between 6950 and 6440 cal BP.
Over the centuries, horticulture has evolved a lot to become what it is today. Much of modern horticulture development has been influenced by renowned horticulturists, for example, Luther Burbank, Freeman S. Howlett, and Liberty Hyde Bailey. Horticultural organizations such as The Royal Horticultural Society, the American Society of Horticultural Science, and the International Society for Horticultural Science have also played a significant role in shaping modern horticulture.
Horticulture encompasses the farming of lots of plants and plant species. Today, the field is highly specialized. Some of the horticulture types today include floriculture, viticulture, oenology, olericulture, landscaping, turf management, arboriculture, etc.
Horticulture is a big industry today with a value chain that includes farm inputs, export production, packaging, cold storage, processed vegetables and fruits, and of course, distribution and marketing. India is the largest player in the horticulture industry, followed by China.