The Horticultural Department was established at Agricultural College & Research Institute, Killikulam during 1984 and taking care of Under graduate and Diploma education, research programmes with a special focus on dry land horticulture, offering technology support including provision of quality seeds and planting materials for the farming community of southern districts of Tamil Nadu including Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Ramanathapuarm and Tenkasi districts. This department is also having an orchard with a total area of 57.51 ha where in an established nursery with a separate mother plant block with labeled varieties of elite fruit plants for production and supply of quality planting materials, model crops of all categories of horticultural plants including major fruits, vegetables, flowers, medicinal and ornamental plant species for student`s education programme. This department is also functioning as one of the main centre of Palmyrah research at All India level and Killikulam centre has been included as a pioneer centre under All India Co ordinate Research Programme on Palms which is partly funded by ICAR.
The Dept. of Horticulture is also involved in activities related with conduct of Monthly Zonal Workshop organized by Department of Agriculture in finalizing the technical message for the respective periods for field adoption by the farmer`s of Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Tenkasi districts and is also taking active participation in the ongoing various State / Central Government schemes under NHM, Micro Irrigation, NADP etc., which are executed by the Dept. of Horticulture and Plantation Crops.
Mandate of Department of Horticulture
- Teaching Horticultural science to under gradate B.Sc (Hons.) (Ag.) students
- Under taking research and developing technologies for dry land Horticultural crops including Palmyrah and Medicinal plants which are suited for growing in this tract.
- Organizing seminars, training and other extension oriented programmes to the needy farmers as well as to the Horticultural and Agricultural Extension functionaries.
- Attending District Mission Committee meetings at Collectorate of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Tenkasi districts