Themes/ Topics

  1. Elite Germplasm and Variety Development: Conservation and use of horticultural crop diversity; Mainstreaming biodiversity; Pre-breeding, Wild species for broadening genetic base of important crops; Development of trait specific genotypes, cores and minicores, Genetics and inheritance of economically important traits; Traditional breeding approaches and achievements; Mutation.

II. Genomics in Trait Specific Breeding: Haploids and polyploidy; In vitro techniques; Advances in Genome Sequencing; Strategies for reducing the breeding cycle; Molecular Markers, QTL mapping and NGS based strategies; Data driven hybridization; gene pyramiding; Trait discovery; Trait enhancement through genome editing; Genomic selection; High throughput phenotyping; Off-season nursery; Breeding varieties suitable for organic farming.

III. Artificial intelligence in Horticulture: Use of Drones, GIS, Robotics,  Data driven understanding of dynamic conditions of the crop, soil and climate; Digital Horticulture; Application of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning; Use of ML algorithms in Big Data; Scope of Big Data and ML for agriculture; Adaptations to ML for using it with Big Data; Identifying challenges, adaptations and the design of architectures; Efficient input management; Advances in mechanization and automation;; Information visualization systems

IV. Strategies for Development of Minor Commercial Crops: Production systems, protection and improvement in selected focused crops: Mushroom; Oilpalm; Dragon fruit; Kiwi; Passion fruits; Jamun; Bael; Mangosteen; Cactus; Rambutan; Seabuckthorn; Potential of berries in India; Pickling cucumbers; Exotic leafy and salad crops

V. Recent Developments in Production of Seeds and Planting Materials: Innovations in Production of planting materials; Seeds and planting material of horticultural crops; Propagation methods for quality planting materials; Advances in grafting and rootstock; Rootstock and abiotic effects on plant growth; Rootstocks in specific fruits and vegetable crops; Cuttings, layering, division, budding and grafting; Synthetic seeds; Virus free plantlets; In vitro and In vivo propagation; Requirements for quality seed production; Hybrid seed production; Genetic fidelity and purity test; Long term and Medium term Seed storage; Cryopreservation

VI. Innovation for Sustainable Horticultural Production: Opportunities to enhance circular bioeconomy; Horticulture based farming systems; Principles and practices of Zero budget Natural Farming; Principles and practices of organic farming; Components of natural and organic farming; Important source of nutrients and effective crop protection; Use of traditional knowledge and wisdom; Analysis of important quality attributes of organically grown produce; Quality attributes of the natural farming-based produce; Protection and sustainable utilization of pollinators; HDP for improving income; Promoting inter culture system; Conservative horticulture. Fork to farm approach in horticulture.

VII. Urban and Peri-urban Horticulture: Horticulture in achieving sustainable urban food systems; Soilless and safe production for higher profitability; Aeroponics, hydroponics in horticulture crop production; growing media for soilless production; Vertical farming; Design of protected structure and their suitability; Developments in use of lights, green climate management; tunnels, shade nets, identification and development specialty varieties; Crop rotation for green house; Smart horticulture; Precision horticulture; Vertical farming; Turf management; Urban landscape planning; Role in green infrastructure;

VIII. Horticulture in North-Eastern India: Cropping systems and new crops; Horti-silvi culture; Medicinal and aromatic plants: domestication, breeding, cultivation and new perspectives; New opportunities in Oil palm production; Opportunities in GI tagged crops; Off-season cultivation of vegetables; High-value fruits and ornamentals, Horticulture based tourism; Horticulture for green economy; Export potential; Betel vine, Rubber, Tea, Black pepper, Oilpalm

IX. Horticulture based farming systems: Integrated farming systems through horticultural crops; Increased profitability of the small and marginal farmers; Improved standard of living of the farmers through horticulture based farming systems; Farming systems using horticultural crops to double farmers income; effective utilization and conservation of resources; improved environment; reduced land degradation and sustainable crop production

X. Management of Biotic and Abiotic Stresses: Transboundary insect pests and diseases; Monitoring, forecasting, and early warning systems; Priorities of crop improvement in fruit crops, vegetables, flowers, spices; medicinal and aromatic plants; IPM and IDM, breeding priorities and systems; exploitation of wild relatives; IOT based management, Realtime surveillance, Next generation based smart bioformulation, application of omics, big data, genome editing; development of rootstocks.

XI. Climate smart Horticulture Climate change mitigation adoption; Adaptation to extreme weather; Horticulture in increasing water use efficiency, watershed management and water productivity; Climate change and loss of bio-diversity; Scope of horticulture in marginal soils, Response of horticultural crops to Drought, Heat, Cold, Salt, Flood, Heavy metal toxicity mediated stresses; Strategies to overcome important stresses, Genetic basis of stress tolerance, Physio-chemical basis of tolerance; Genomics and identification of candidate genes; Waste land management;

XII. Secondary Horticulture: Utilization of renewable resource for making new products and services; Solid and liquid waste from processing; organic constituents like, cellulose, starch, pectin, vitamins, minerals from the waste as biological oxygen demand and health hazard; utilizing seeds, peels, and other components of fruits and vegetables; waste part of the important crops as rich source of bioactive compounds; economize cost of production and reduced pollution; Waste for the production of fertilizers, fuel, value added products through processing, extraction, hydrolysis or fermentation and as animal fee                        (16) (PDF) Secondary Horticulture: Developments and Challenges. Available from: [accessed Apr 10 2023].

XIII. Horticulture for food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries: Developments in juice, dried, dehydrated and fermented products, ready to eat horticultural products. Bioactive compounds affected by crop management; Horticulture in post COVID era; Estimation of quality traits, Application of HPLC/UPLC/GC-MS; Horticulture in meeting food and nutritional requirement; Healthy diets; Role of horticulture in One health; Combating malnutrition; Phytochemicals, neutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals and therapeutics; Organic/natural colour; flavour, cosmetics, aroma, essential oils, oleoresins, edible oils from horticulture; Horticulture in human disease management; Development of biofortified varieties/hybrids; QTLs/genes/candidate gene discovery for quality traits.  Utilization of horticulture waste; 

XIV. New Initiatives and Developments for Minimizing Post-Harvest Losses: Harvesting, postharvest handling and safe ripening. New technologies and innovations in postharvest; MAP and CA; Postharvest pathology, microbiological and chemical safety; Physiological disorders; Reducing postharvest Losses; Modeling and non-destructive tools; Cold storages and  cold chain; smart and innovative packaging, Quality change and postharvest management; Mechanization in post-harvest operations; Genetic resources suitable for processing; Application of Biotechnology and Omics for postharvest management. Marketing of horticultural produce.

XV. Exploiting Emerging Trade Opportunities: Organic products in North East; Standards for domestic and export market; Export oriented germplasm; Agri-start-up fund; Issues,  Up scaling Farmers based Innovation; Opportunities  and constraints in exports including pesticides residue, use of newer chemical and pesticides;; GAP; use national and international standards avoiding malpractices to ensure quality of horticulture produce, export potential of different horticultural crops. Facilitating trade, improving market, Role of Starts up and Private sectors engagement.

XVI. Horticulture under New Education Policy, 2020: Paradigm shift in the education poly under NEP, 2020; Opportunities to introduce changes in the Horticulture education systems; Implementation strategy for the NEP, 2020; Higher Education Institutions (HEis); Revising course curricula;  modifying academic structure of degrees/diplomas/certificate system;  introduction of credit banking system; Partnerships among HEis, universities, industry and other stakeholders; Teaching, research and extension systems under NEP; Address and overcome the current challenges

Any Other Relevant Technologies/issues to Boost Horticulture: Any other relevant topics not covered under the above theme areas