Difference Between Agriculture and Horticulture

Main difference

The main difference between agriculture and horticulture is that large-scale extensive cultivation is known as farming and small-scale gardening is known as horticulture.

Agriculture vs horticulture

Agriculture deals with growing crops and raising animals. Horticulture deals primarily with the cultivation of plants. Agriculture focuses on plants basically for human consumption. Horticulture focuses on plants not only for human consumption. Agriculture is carried out on extensive land. Horticulture is carried out on smaller plots or in closed plots. The term agriculture is a broad term that encompasses forestry, agronomy, livestock and aquaculture. But horticulture is a branch or subcategory of agriculture. Agriculture is used to raise plants and animals for food and human needs. Horticulture is used to improve the marketing and technology of plants. Bulk farming only requires general conditions and technical knowledge and does not need sophistication. Horticulture needs controlled conditions, special techniques and equipment. Linguistically, the term agriculture comes from a combination of Latin words ‘agri’ meaning field and ‘cultura’ meaning cultivation. The term horticulture derives from two Latin words, ‘hortus’ means garden and ‘cultura’ means cultivation. The implication of agriculture is the obsession with monoculture primary succession plants at its origin. Agriculture uses cultivation strategies such as transplanting, seeding, tillage, burning, fertilization, selective harvesting and crop rotation, etc. by using tools to create a habitat meadow or field. Horticulture uses the same cultivation strategies to promote ecological succession and landscape diversity. Farmers work like farmers and horticulturists work like gardeners.

Comparison chart

farming Horticulture
cultivating a field cultivate a garden
Also know as
farming Gardening
deal with
Field crops, oilseeds, cereals, wheat and animal husbandry Fruits, vegetables and flowers
Both plants and animals purely with plants
Made in
Big scale Small scale

What is agriculture?

Agriculture is a multifaceted term that generally covers the practice of propagating plants and increasing livestock and poultry. Their main reason is to provide food for human use and to provide other fundamental human needs such as clothing and medicine. It is also used to produce good performance. Agriculture is the field of growing food crops and raising animals for agriculture. It includes the entire procedure to designate the diversion of the natural flow of the food chain and the redirection of energy. The natural food web begins with the sun. The sun provides sunlight that is used by plants and then converted into sugars that act as plant food through a process called photosynthesis. Herbivorous animals eat plants for food, and carnivores eat herbivores for food. Dead animals and plants are broken down by bacteria and returned to the soil as nutrients, and this chain-like process repeats itself. Agriculture restarts this food web so that plants are used for human use. However, the plants can be grown specifically for herbivores for food such as livestock, which, in turn, are raised for human use. Agriculture can be divided into two classes, which are ordinary and renewable agriculture. Ordinary agriculture deals with rebuilding some environmental factors like trees, soil plowing and soaking and all the activities that favor single crop cultivation mainly for crops like wheat, rice and corn. Renewable agriculture is where the ecological concept is to engage in agriculture. It is also called as agroecology. Its target is compatible agricultural applications.

What is horticulture?

Horticulture is the art or practice of growing and managing gardens. It also deals with the science, technology and business of growing plants. Horticulture is a subcategory of agriculture that deals with the cultivation, marketing, and technology of all kinds of plants. Its scope deals with tubers, fruits, vegetables, trees, herbs, decorative plants, medicinal plants, grasses, and seaweeds and algae. Horticulture students often study fields such as nursery management, ornamental horticulture, landscape horticulture, and urban forestry during their career. His approach provides food, products for human consumption, economic benefit and improvement of the environment. It is also sometimes referred to simply as “gardening”. But nevertheless, Horticulture is generally classified as a subcategory of agriculture that deals with the gardening of plants. It is different from agriculture, but it is easy to correlate them because replaceable committed techniques are used in both procedures, for example, growing crops which is an agricultural method, many horticulture procedures are involved. Horticulture is a complete technique of agriculture. Horticulture is also defined as the science that uses special techniques and procedures to grow plants, as well as procedures that are used in the soil appropriately for planting seeds and planting tubers. The term horticulture includes cultivation, plant propagation, plant breeding, crop production, plant physiology, as well as biochemistry and genetic engineering. The plants are mainly vegetable trees, flowers, shrubs, fruits and nuts. Horticulturists carry out large-scale research in their field to obtain better quality crops,

Key differences

  1. Agriculture is less intensive, on the contrary, horticulture is more intensive.
  2. In agriculture, you are growing plants in natural soil, while in horticulture you are growing plants in artificial media.
  3. Farming is done on large-scale plots; on the other hand, horticulture is carried out on small plots.
  4. Agriculture is the science of growing crops and raising animals, on the other hand, horticulture is the science of growing fruits and vegetables mainly.
  5. Agriculture is a vast branch of science while horticulture is a sub-branch of agriculture.

Final Thought

Agriculture is the science of raising animals for farming and growing food, and horticulture is the science of growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers.

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