Himachal Pradesh Agriculture

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Himachal Pradesh agriculture is a very crucial part of the state's economy as agriculture is the chief occupation of people in Himachal Pradesh. The agricultural sector of the Himachal Pradesh has more than 45 percent contribution in its economy in terms of the state's domestic product.

The entire population of the state more or less depends directly upon the agriculture of Himachal Pradesh. The major portion of the revenue earning in the state's economy is carried out by the cash crops in the Himachal Pradesh agriculture. The chief food crops cultivated in Himachal Pradesh agriculture include wheat, maize, rice, barley, seed-potato, ginger, vegetables, vegetable seeds, mushrooms, chicory seeds, hops, olives, and fig. Himachal Pradesh is also known as the 'Apple State of India' for its large-scale production of fruits. Farmers have engaged themselves highly in the fruit cultivation and it is also a great blessing to the economy of the state. Some very important factors that has led to the outstanding development in the agriculture of Himachal Pradesh are an efficient irrigation system, accessibility of low-cost cargo, and marketing facilities structured in an organized form.

Himachal Pradesh agriculture provides employment to around 71 percent of the working population in the state. The agricultural sector and the allied sector generates a revenue of nearly 22.5 percent of the gross State Domestic Product. The farming community of the state holds an area of 9.99 lakh hectares which is run by 8.63 lakh farmers out of the total geographical area of 55.673 lakh hectares. Around 84.5 percent of the total land held by the farming community of Himachal Pradesh are owned by the small and marginal farmers. Only 10.4 percent of the area of the state is cultivated and about 80 percent of the area experiences rainfall.

The agricultural sector of Himachal Pradesh has adopted a diversification approach that demands for a focus on the production of off-season vegetables that include potato, ginger, soyabean, oilseeds, and pulses. At present, about 41,500 hectare area constitutes vegetable production and the production level of those vegetables is 7.85 lakh tonne. The farmers focuses more upon generating the cash crops for more revenue earning as it suits the agro-climactic conditions in Himachal Pradesh.

The main cereals cultivated in Himachal Pradesh agriculture are wheat, maize, rice, and barley. Kangra, Mandi district and to some extent Paonta valley of Sirmur district are the major producers of wheat, maize, and rice. Barley is cultivated largely in Shimla district of Himachal Pradesh. The main sources of irrigation in Himachal Pradesh are small water channels that are filled from the perennial and seasonal springs, well irrigation in few areas, and lift irrigation. All these development witnessed by the agricultural sector of Himachal Pradesh have stepped-up the productivity of the crops to a large extent.

Last Updated on 07th Jully 2011