Agriculture vs Horticulture: Difference and Comparison

Agriculture and horticulture both are related to plantations and cultivation. Generally, horticulture is regarded as a division of agriculture. However, it is different from agriculture in nature. Horticulture is a new invention, and it is rather a scientific discovery. Agriculture and horticulture have different goals and different methods too. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Agriculture is cultivating plants and raising animals for food, fiber, and other purposes. At the same time, horticulture focuses specifically on cultivating, managing, and studying ornamental plants, fruits, vegetables, and flowers.
  2. Agriculture involves large-scale farming operations, including machinery and technology for efficient production, while horticulture involves smaller-scale, more specialized cultivation techniques.
  3. Agriculture and horticulture contribute to food production, environmental management, and the economy, but horticulture tends to emphasize aesthetics, plant health, and sustainable practices more.

Agriculture vs Horticulture

Agriculture is the science, art, and business of cultivating crops and raising animals for food, fuel, and other products. It involves the large-scale production of crops and livestock. Horticulture is the science and art of cultivating plants for ornamental, aesthetic, and functional purposes.

Agriculture vs Horticulture

Agriculture is an old practice to grow crops that will reap food for humans. Agriculture is supposed to be done on a large plot of land. Animal farming is also a part of it. This is taken as the sign of civilization. Now both traditional and scientific ideas are utilised in this farming.

Horticulture is a type of gardening. The methods of it are scientific. It is used to cultivate food. The growth of crops here is controlled so that they can be pure. Medicinal ingredients get created this way. Only the harvesting of edible crops is not done here.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonAgricultureHorticulture
Range of land It is an operation that requires a large scale of land.It is a small-scale gardening thing.
Goal Agriculture aims to increase food production. It aims at comprehending the growing necessities of various plants. 
Type of plotIts concern is to cultivate a field. Its concern is to cultivate a garden.
Type of cultivationIt deals with crops as well as animal farming. It deals with plants only.
Consumption Agriculture concentrates on crops for human consumption only.Most plants that are grown under horticulture are not for human consumption.

What is Agriculture?

Agriculture can be regarded as the backbone of civilization. Humans have been doing this for a long time. In the initial days, it was the only source of food. Here food harvests rearing animals. The natural flow used to get followed in it, and redirection of harvesting was the rule for allowing the land to be enriched again. 

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In agriculture, crops take natural resources to grow themselves. They collect water from soil with their roots. After that, they perform photosynthesis in the presence of the sun and then make food. Once it is ready in the form of sucrose, it spreads throughout the whole plant.

We can separate agriculture into two groups. One is sustainable, and the other is conventional agriculture. In sustainable farming, a variety of plants get planted together. Therefore the ground does not become barren. In conventional farming, only one crop gets planted. It takes care of the environmental factors. 


What is Horticulture?

Horticulture is a discipline of science. The methods and techniques of it are developed based on science. It is a special, scientifically tested technique of cultivation. Here the soil of planting, the seed to plant, everything is conditioned so no sort of failure during the growth can take place. 

In agriculture, not only cultivation but plant propagation, plant breeding, production of crops, physiology plant everything falls under it. Biochemistry and genetic engineering are also needed to enrich the domain of horticulture. Plants that come under horticulture do not need to be edible only. It includes turf and shrubs along with fruits and vegetables.  

Scientists conduct extensive research to get quality crops. The edible crops in this are highly nutritious. Pesticides are avoided here, so the health hazards are not an issue here. An enclosed garden is needed here. The environment needed for the crops is controlled according to their needs.


Main Differences Between Agriculture and Horticulture

  1. Agriculture is a large operation but compared to that, horticulture is a small scale operation. It is more like gardening.
  2. The main focus of agriculture is to increase food production, but horticulture will focus on knowing what the necessary conditions for some plants to grow are.  
  3. Agriculture needs a field to cultivate, but horticulture is a small gardening sort of phenomenon that is why no big plot of land is required. 
  4. Agriculture is about growing crops as well as animal farming, but Agriculture, on the other hand, is about growing plants.
  5. Agriculture will only cultivate crops that can be eaten by humans. On the contrary, horticulture may opt for plants that might not be eligible for human food.
  6. Horticulture is a new thing. It is based on scientific research and mostly created in the boundary of a lab. But agriculture is a practical thing that takes place in the fields. It has been happening since the beginning of civilization. However, agriculture also has been enriched with scientific inventions. 
Difference Between Agriculture and Horticulture
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Last Updated : 24 July, 2023

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