by D.S. Thakur
Professor of Agricultural Economics
Regional Research Station, Bajaura
myths surround hills. As such, hills mean many things to many
people. It is only in recent times that people have started to
explore, understand and realise the immense potential and benefits
of hills for the hill people and the country at large.
Hills have certain advantages over plains. They have vast wealth
of natural resources - natural vegetation, fertile soil, forests,
pastures, lakes, and snow-clad mountain peaks. Hills are also
the sources of perennial life-giving waters to the plains.
All these resources must be properly utilised
and harnessed for faster development of hills and hill people.
Hills also have a comparative advantage over plains for production
of off-season vegetables, vegetable seeds, temperate and tropical
fruits, medicinal plants and other high value crops.
Himachal Pradesh has given a new concept of
development of hills and agricultural economy by scientific transformation
and modernisation of agriculture. Therefore, Himachal Pradesh
is considered as a model for the development of hills with the
pertinent lessons for other areas and states. Himachal's progress
in hill agriculture is an eye-opener to the vast development potential
of the hilly region in the country.
Agriculture to go hi-tech in the twenty-first century for significant
increase in output and income of farmers to ensure food security.
The hi-tech agriculture is composed of significant advances in
- advanced package of practices
- latest appropriate farm machinery and implements
- the green house technology
- watershed management technology
- the latest outcomes of biodiversity
- land use mapping
- remote sensing
- land and water use
- conservation and management
- organic farming system (OFS)
- integrated nutrient supply system
- pest management system
- improved cropping systems
- integrated intensive holistic farming systems
- improved irrigation systems
- improved extension systems
- agricultural marketing systems
as provided to some 100 samples of demonstration farmers of
Himachal Pradesh selected in all the 12 districts during the
course of this study for the last seven years. These aspects
have been discussed later under the strategy for the long-run
sustainability of farming. It may be noted that the strategy
has already worked wonders. The data furnished in the tables
given present seven-years averages.