Horticulture Department

Introduction


Horticulture is the science and art of cultivating and using highvalue plants to improve human life; it create global solutions for sustainable, nutritious food sources and healthy, beautiful environments.

Horticulture is plant science that includes the study of plant growth and plant interactions with the environment (soil, air, water) to improve human life through the cultivation of food and ornamental plants and the maintenance of a sustainable environment. Horticulture is unique as a scientific field of study in that it often utilizes artistic expression to aid the design of human landscapes and to restore natural environments. Horticulture has long history but as a science it is very young in Afghanistan.


History of Horticulture in Kabul University


Horticulture Department has been established in 1975 in combination with the department of forestry. However, in 1994 the horticulture was separated and was introduced as new department of Agriculture Faculty of Kabul University with the intention to educate young generation in the field of fruits, vegetables and ornamental plants.

kabul University

Importance of Horticulture in Afghanistan


In Afghanistan most of the farms are very small and to be efficient and economical the farmers would need to grow cash crops. Afghanistan is world famous country for production of high quality pomegranates, grapes, raisin, apricots, almond, pistachio and melons. Apart from this Afghanistan is thought to be the origin of pomegranate, pistachio, grapes, onion, carrots and some other horticultural crops. Flower cultivation and gardening has long history in Afghanistan and during 15th century Afghanistan was one of the few countries having most number of gardens. Medicinal crops are grown wildly in Afghanistan and since many centuries the villagers are harvesting them unprofessionally and are using them as herbal medicine. Afghan raisin, dried tomatoes, dried melon, dried prunes, dried apricots and several other processed products are well known in the world.

Horticultural products makes a huge percentage of exported products of the country each year. Along with this extreme importance horticulture sector in the country has not developed as much as required. Although Afghanistan is one of top 20 grape exporting countries but still the farmers growing grapes are very poor and in most cases they could not provide the basic life requirements with the amount they receive from selling their products. Grape is only an example, the situation is the same for all horticultural crops grown in the country. There are several reasons beyond this problem such as low quality, weak storage facilities, weak processing facilities, weak knowledge of farmers, weak marketing intelligence of the famers etc…


Purpose


Enhancing knowledge transfer, applied research and publication capacity of horticulture department to allow the alumni of this department to compete better in job market and improve standard of the services provided by horticulture department.


Objectives


  1. Enhancing students practical knowledge for better competence in job market
  2. Enhancing applied research services
  3. Enhancing study material
  4. Enhancing publication of horticulture (teaching material)
  5. Improving skill in horticulture
  6. Linking horticulture to relevant stakeholders (Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, Private Sector)
  7. Enhancing capacity of horticulture department

 

Mission


The Department of Horticulture is committed to discovery, education, and delivery to improve quality of life at the local, national, and international level. We enhance health, the environment, and the economy by advancing and sharing the science of production and use of food and ornamental plants.


Vision


Horticulture is a dynamic department, recognized internally and externally as a valuable and relevant resource in the plant sciences for students, producers, and the general public. We aim to advance and share the science of production and management of fruit, vegetable, and ornamental plants and their use in communities to improve social, environmental, and economic sustainability. Innovative basic, applied and cross‐disciplinary research will help solve environmental and economic problems.


Key activities


  1. Offering key subjects of horticulture both theory and practical
  2. Guidance of students of horticulture department regarding practical student projects in laboratory, farm, seminars, publications etc…
  3. Implementing applied research and publication of its results in national and international journals
  4. Publication of horticultural books, articles and other related information in national and international journal
  5. Internship for ungraduated students with relevant stakeholders (MAIL, Private Sector)


Key strengths


  1. Having enthusiastic staff and students
  2. Having building facilities
  3. Having farm facilities
  4. Having capacity of hiring new staff
  5. Having capacity of research implementation
  6. Having capacity of publication
  7. Having intended fields of specialization