Himachal Pradesh

 

Over 10% area of the state is under cultivation, of which 75 % is rainfed, facing frequent water scarcity. The soils are acidic and low in fertility. The major cropping systems are maize-wheat, rice-wheat and maize-potato-wheat. The farming systems are mainly horticulture based. The important fruit crops are apple, plum, almonds and mango etc. With varied climatic endowments, there is a great scope for off-season vegetables. Suggested interventions for natural resource management for agriculture in the state are as follows:

Site-specific nutrient management on 0.1 million ha of rice-wheat/maize-wheat to increase production

  by 0.3 million tonnes of foodgrains/ per annum

Liming of 0.15 million ha of acid soils to provide additional 0.15 million tonnes of foodgrains

Cultivation of off-season vegetables and mushroom farming in Solan, Shimla, Kinnaur and Spiti and

  Chamba districts. Drip/sprinkler/fertigation to be introduced on a large scale

Harvesting of rain/snow/small perennial sources for supplemental irrigations.

Vermicomposting utilizing forest and agricultural biomass

Maize

Maize, a rainfed crop, is grown in an area of 295,000 ha with the production of 540,000 tonnes and productivity of 1.8 tonnes/ha. Hybrid maize is grown at lower altitude. The major constraints are paucity of quality seed of the desirable hybrids during sowing time and high cost of transportation, white grub infestations and weeds. Suitable interventions include:

Use of HQPM 1, Girija and early maturing hybrids

Use of normal grain single cross hybrids (Vivek 9, Vivek 15, Vivek 17, Vivek 21, Prakash 3; and HM 4

 for baby corn)

Seed production in plains for timely seed supply to the farmers at low cost

Light traps for suppression of adult beetles of white grubs

Weed management with atrazine

Baby corn cultivation intercropped with vegetables in foot-hills

Rajmash

Rajmash is an important pulse crop during kharif season. Generally, traditional varieties are grown under poor crop management practices. Production of rajmash can be increased substantially by improving productivity and expanding area under improved varieties. Desirable interventions are:

Growing of high-yielding varieties such Kailash, Salimar Rajmash and VL 63

57