What are the differences between horticulture and agriculture?

the differences between horticulture and agriculture

Horticulture and agriculture are both types of farming, but there are some differences between these two practices, including their respective goals and scales. Horticulture is the science and art of growing plants in gardens or landscapes. In short, horticulture is called gardening. Meanwhile, agriculture is a farming activity to produce food, feed, fiber, and other goods. Horticulture generally focuses on plants' beauty and ornamental value, while agriculture has as much food as possible. Agriculture typically takes place on a much larger scale than horticulture. Although different aspects, the horticulture, and agriculture business are promising for some countries. Horticultural and agricultural products can be exported and boost the farm economy. Furthermore, the horticulture and agriculture business has advantages as below:

  1. Increase herbal medicinal commodities as well as food and clothing.
  2. Horticultural crops are the second source of food. Many people sell plants from these plants. The sales target for horticultural crops is entering a large market, so do agriculture. The income received will also be significant for businesses.
  3. Increase the country's foreign exchange earnings through exports activity.
  4. Provide job opportunities, food supply, and supply of industrial raw materials.

Characteristics of horticulture and agriculture crops 

Horticulture and agriculture have long been an essential part of human life. Food and fiber production is necessary for species survival, and crops must be carefully selected and cultivated to ensure a reliable food supply. Several characteristics are essential when selecting crops for horticulture and agriculture, including yield, disease resistance, climate tolerance, and nutritional content. In addition, it is crucial to know the categories of horticulture and agriculture crop production to know its selling powers in the market. As guidance, here are crop categories difference between horticulture and agriculture. 

Agriculture crop categories

  1. Agricultural products from food crops are rice, corn, cassava, sweet potatoes, potatoes, fruits, vegetables, and all forms of processed food crops.
  2. Agricultural products from plantations include tea, cocoa, coffee, rubber, coconut, palm oil, sugar cane, and all processed products from plantations.
  3. Agricultural products from forestry include wood, agarwood, honey, rattan, and all processed products from the forest.
  4. Agricultural products from livestock are meat, eggs, milk, animal hair, and all processed products from livestock.
  5. Agricultural products from fisheries include fish, pearls, shrimp, seaweed, shellfish, and processed fishery products.

Horticulture crop categories

  1. Floriculture is a type of horticultural plant derived from ornamental plants. Various ornamental plants are cultivated in pots, such as tuberose flowers, roses, bonsai plants, etc.
  2. Biopharmaceutical plants are a prevalent herbal plant in the community because they can treat various kinds of diseases—for example, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, lemongrass, and others.
  3. Fruit plants produce fruit that can be consumed and have high economic value—for example, tomatoes, watermelons, oranges, mangoes, melons, strawberries, rambutan, etc.
  4. Vegetable plants produce vegetables that can be consumed, have fiber and vitamins, and have high economic value. Examples of vegetable crops are garlic, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, carrots, cucumbers, others.

Comparison between horticulture and agriculture in general

Operational scale

  • Agriculture: Has a more extensive scale

  • Horticulture: Has a minor scale 


  • Agriculture: Irrigation, livestock, monitoring, maintenance, etc.

  • Horticulture: Garden cultivation, plant cultivation, etc. 


  • Agriculture: Agriculture produces a higher output

  • Horticulture: Has limited outputs 


  • Agriculture: Deals with the cultivation of crops and also animal farming

  • Horticulture: Deals with cultivation only

So, which field is more important? horticulture or agriculture? There is no easy answer when deciding which area is more critical: horticulture or agriculture. Both are essential for the growth of the food system and society. Horticulture is what you use to improve the quality and appearance of plants. You can do it on a small scale, like a home garden or a large scale. On the other hand, agriculture is the production of crops and livestock. It requires more specific treatment and large plantations. Agriculture and horticulture can continue to develop with technological innovation. Hence, agricultural and horticultural production quality can be better, land management is better monitored and maintained, and it minimizes crop failure due to things that humans can predict.

Posted by : Nurhayati

Published At : 18/03/2022 10:18:32


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