As agriculture is the mainstay of the economy of the State, the government is making concerted efforts to make Himachal Pradesh self-reliant in agriculture and allied sectors. The State government is promoting new innovations for economic empowerment and upliftment of farmers. Schemes like ‘Him Unnati’, ‘Mukhya Mantri Krishi Samvardhan Yojana’, ‘Krishi Utpadan Sarakshan Yojana’ are being implemented to realize the dreams of farmers of their bright future.
Most of the rural population of Himachal Pradesh depends on agriculture for earning their livelihood as this sector is providing direct employment to about 70 percent of the population of the State. Apart from this, the agriculture and allied sectors contribute about 13.47 percent to the state’s gross domestic product as 9.44 lakh hectares of land is under cultivation with 9.97 lakh families involved in the farming sector.
The state government is promoting integrated and holistic agricultural activities under the ambitious ‘Him Unnati’ scheme. Under the scheme, clusters are being formed for the identified groups across the state according to the geographical conditions, local climate and quality of the soil of a particular region. Under the scheme, 2,600 clusters will be formed in the state, out of which 1200 will be created by the agriculture department, 1100 by the natural farm unit and 300 by JICA.
Presently 1239 clusters have been identified across the state. So far, 286 clusters have been selected under Him Unnati Scheme, out of which cultivation activities have been started in 186 clusters in kharif season this year. Hybrid and improvised seeds play a pivotal role in increasing production. The Government farms are being strengthened to provide improved seeds to the farmers. There are 36 government farms in the state in 464 hectares of land and 17 thousand quintals of certified seeds of various varieties for different crops were being produced annually in these government farms.
To develop the state as a self-reliant state in terms of quality seeds and to reduce dependency on seed procurement from neighboring states, Rs. 1.28 crore has been allocated during this financial year for strengthening the government farms. The State Government is also promoting adoption of smart farming methods through the use of technology and innovation in the agricultural sector. Around 21 laboratories have also been set up in the state for soil fertilizer, hybrid seeds, bio-control fertilizer pesticide and bio fertilizers production testing so that quality control can be ensured.
The state government is working towards sustainable development of agriculture and allied sectors. In view of this various innovative measures as well as the use of advanced technology is being ensured. It is also being ensured that new technologies being developed in the labs are made available to the farmers to benefit them at large. With the advancement of technology, advanced equipment, better irrigation facilities and the specialized knowledge of agriculture, there will be a revolution in the agriculture sector in times to come and will strengthen the economy of the farmers.