The Department of Horticulture & Soil Conservation was established during 1978 when the erstwhile Agriculture Department was trifurcated into three entities namely, the Agriculture Department, the Horticulture & Soil Conservation Department and the Command Area Development Authority with the objective of taking up programme implementation for horticulture development and soil & water conservation measures. Over the years, the programmes implemented by Horticulture & Soil Conservation Department slowly gained importance and popularity among the farmers. Alongside, the higher allocations made to Horticulture Sector in the Central Budgets during VIII, IX and X Plan gave a boost to Horticulture programmes in the State, as elsewhere in the Country.The annual Budget allocation made to Horticulture & Soil Conservation Department from the State Plan merely meet the requirements of staff salaries, wages of muster roll labourers and other Office expenses leaving no balance to take up developmental activities.

The state has rich resources in terms of land and soil fertility, rain, water, vegetation etc. and the prevalence of suitable Agro-climatic conditions ranging from temperate to tropical and sub-tropical zones provide scope for development of horticulture in the state. Despite these natural advantages, growth of horticulture in the state has remained lackluster till recently due to the wide gap between the technologies generated and their adoption by the farmers in their fields and orchards. Resources constraint for investment in horticultural activities is another major factor for lack of development of horticulture in the state. A planned approach towards horticulture development in the state was undertaken a few years back when a survey was conducted in collaboration with the National Horticulture Board to identify potential areas for horticulture development in the state. The survey report indicates that about 2, 77, 064 Ha. constituting 12% of the total geographical area of the state are available for horticulture and allied activities. Out of this potential area, only about 14% has been brought under different horticultural fruits and vegetable crops. However, during the last 2 / 3 years the areas under these crops are being expanded rapidly in all the districts of the state.

Organisation Support

Director is the head of the Department. At the Headquarter, the Director is assisted by :-

(i) Additional Director 1 (one) Nos.
a. Additional Director Agri(H)
(ii) Joint Directors 2(two) Nos.
a. Senior Horticulturist
b. Joint Director (SC)
(iii)Deputy Directors 3(three) Nos.
a. Deputy Director (HQ)
b. Deputy Director (HR)
c. (Deputy Director (H)
(iv)Agriculture Officers - 4(four) Nos.
a. Agriculture Officer (Planning)
b. Agriculture Officer (Information)
c. Agriculture Officer(SoilConservation)/ Officer-in-charge, TM.
d. Agriculture Officer (Floriculture)

Districts are administered through the District Officer(H & SC) who are the rank of Deputy Directors. They are the head of the districts in respect of Hort. & Soil Conservation Department. The Dist. Officers at the District HQs are assisted by--

  1. 1 (one) Hort. Development Officer;
  2. 1 (one) Soil Conservation Officer and
  3. 2 (two) Junior Subject Matter Specialist (Pathology and Entomology) in the rank of HDO/SCO.

In each Sub -division there are 2 (two) officers. Sub-divisional Officer (Soil Cons.) is the in -charge of all Soil Conservation works of the Sub- division and Sub- divisional Hort. Development Officer is in -charge of Hort. works of the sub-division. Necessary technical and administrative staff are provided at each level.

Soil Survey and Investigation Cell headed by the Deputy Director(SS0 is under direct supervision of Director.