Agriculture provides direct employment to 71% of the population in Himachal Pradesh and the sector contributes nearly 30% of the total state domestic product. The new sown area of Himachal Pradesh is 5,38,412 hectare and the total cropped area is 9,40,597 hectare. The total irrigated area is 70 lakh hectares. The agro-climatic zones of Himachal Pradesh are:

  • Shivalik Hill Zone: Occupies about 35% of the total geographical area and around 40% of the total cultivated area. The major crops grown are wheat, maize, paddy, gram, sugarcane, mustard, potato, vegetables, etc.
  • Mid Hill Zone: Occupies about 32% of the total geographical area and around 37% of the total cultivated area. The major crops sown are wheat, maize, barley, black gram, beans, paddy, etc. This zone has good potential for the cultivation of cash crops, such as off-season vegetables, and temperate vegetables, such as cauliflower and root crops.
  • High Hill Zone: Occupies about 35% of the total geographical area and around 21% of the total cultivated area. The commonly grown crops are wheat, barley, lesser millets, pseudo-cereals (buckwheat and amaranthus), maize and potato, etc. The area is suitable for the production of seed potatoes and temperate vegetables.
  • Cold Dry Zone: Occupies about 8% of the total geographical area and 2% of the total cultivated area. The major crops grown are wheat, barley, and pseudo-cereals.


Schemes for promoting Natural Farming

Himachal Pradesh practices Natural Farming under the Prakritik Kheti Khushhal Kissan (PK3) Yojana. The scheme aims to reduce the cost of cultivation and enhance farmers’ income. The scheme was announced by the Chief Minister in the Budget speech of 2018–19.

The scheme seeks to promote the production of food grains, vegetables, and fruits without the use of synthetic chemicals/pesticides and fertilizers.

The scheme went beyond its target of covering 500 farmers to 2669 in 2018–19. By 2019–20, 54,914 farmers were practicing Natural Farming on 2,451 hectares of land. The scheme has now targeted to bring more farmers under its ambit and cover 20,000 hectares.

A survey done in the first year of the implementation of the scheme found that Natural Farming lowered the cost of cultivation by 46% and increased profit by 22%. Another survey was conducted on the impact of this practice on the incidence of diseases in apples. The results were encouraging. Scab incidences in Natural Farming orchards were found to be 9.2% on leaves and 2.1% on fruit—in chemical farming, such incidences are found on 14.2% of the leaves and 9.2% of fruits. The incidences of marssonina were also found to be only 12.2% in Natural Farming orchards as compared to 18.4% in the chemical ones.

The Himachal Pradesh government hopes to bring 9.61 lakh farmer families under the ambit of this Yojana by the end of 2022.

Seminars & Workshop Proceedings

International High Level Workshop on Enabling Sustainable Food Systems Mechanism in Himachal Pradesh- Proceedings

Realization of Mission Natural Farming among Smallholders


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