Agriculture plays an important role in the economy of Himachal Pradesh. Agriculture and its related sectors contribute approximately 15 per cent in the Gross Domestic Production of the state. A total land of Rs. 5.42 lakh hectares is under agriculture in the state. The state government has started many programmes and schemes to strengthen the economic condition of the farmers to increase the production of agriculture products in the state.
The climate of the state is favourable for the off-season crops. The state government has been emphasising on the promotion of production of off-season vegetables and farmers are having better and fruitful results. In the present fiscal year, the state government has made a budgetary provision of Rs. 484 crores for the promotion of agriculture. The state government has been implementing various programmes for the promotion of agriculture.
With the collaboration of Japan International Agency (JAICA), HP Crop Diversification Promotion Project of worth Rs. 321 crores is being implemented in the state. The project is being implemented in Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Mandi, Kangra and Una districts of the state. The main aims of the project include facility of irrigation, roads connectivity to the fields, helping farmers to adopt organic farming, vegetable production and providing technical information for marketing. Under the project, 210 small-irrigation schemes, 147 connected road and construction of 37 storage centres would be completed. In the last year, Rs. 80 crores were spent on the project while an amount of Rs. 50 crores is slated to be spent in the year 2017-18.
Dr. Y. S. Parmar Kisan Self-Employment Scheme was started to promote polyhouse, micro-irrigation scheme and to strengthen the economic condition of the farmers in the state. Under this scheme of worth Rs. 111.19 crores, a target of building 47,000 polyhouse, 2150 sprinkler/drip units has been set by the state government from year 2014-15 to 2017-18. The farmers are given 85 per cent subsidy on the construction works. Besides this, the farmers are provided with 50 per cent subsidy for small lift irrigation scheme and to purchase pumping machinery. Under the scheme, a target of Rs. 15 crores has been set by the state government in the present financial year. As many as 2735 polyhouse were built under the scheme.
National Agriculture Development Scheme has been started to secure 4 per cent growth rate in the agriculture sector and its allied sectors activities in the state. The main goal of the scheme is to promote the investment in the agriculture and allied sectors and planning of agriculture programmes. Besides agriculture activities, the scheme also promotes activities of horticulture, cattle rearing and fisheries.
Mukhmantri Greenhouse Navikaran Yojna has been started to facilitate the farmers of the state. Under the scheme, 50 per cent aid would be provided for the naturally damaged polysheets after 5 years. A budgetery provision of 3 crores was made in the present fiscal year.
Mukhya Mantri Kishan Evam Khetihar Mazdoor Jiwan Suraksha Yojna has been started for the farmers in the state. Under the scheme, insurance cover would be provided in case of an injury or death while using the agriculture machinery. Rs. 1, 50,000 and Rs. 50,000 would be provided as aid in case of death or permanent disability and partially disability respectively. 35 farmers were benefited under this scheme.
The menace of monkeys and other wild animals is increasing in the state. To address the sensitive problem, the state government had started Mukhmantri Khet Sarankshan Yojna last year which provides 80 per cent subsidy for the fencing. The fencing would be made functional with solar power and electricity. A budgetary provision of Rs. 30 crores has been made by the state government in the present financial year.
Vegetable production also plays an important role in the economy of the state. In this respect, excellence centres are going to be established for vegetable nursery production to provide quality rootstocks to farmers. The fruitful results of the sustained efforts of the state government in this respect also received commendation at the national level. The state has been awarded with “Krishi Karmanya Award” by the agriculture ministry of India for the consecutive three years.