Lack of watershed management, monsoon-based farming hit agriculture sector in Uttarakhand
Lack of watershed harvesting and monsoon-based farming is the key reason why crop intensity of Uttarakhand is poorer than neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, experts saydehradun Updated: Nov 12, 2017 20:52 IST
Lack of watershed harvesting and monsoon-based farming is the key reason why crop intensity of Uttarakhand is poorer than neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, experts say.
The crop intensity is the number of times a crop is planted in an agricultural area.
Union ministry of agriculture and farmers’ welfare data, states that Himachal Pradesh reported a 3,100 hectare difference in the crop intensity index between 2012-13 and 2013-2014 while Uttarakhand reported a difference of 2,400 hectare during the corresponding period. This means that the optimum use of an agricultural land is poorer in Uttarakhand.
DS Pandey, head of department of agronomy at the Govind Ballabh Pant Agriculture University, said in Uttarakhand, farming is monsoon-based as a result of which crops are sown only once or twice every year.
“The discrepancy is due to the lack of watershed management in the hills, where rainwater can be managed to hydrate fields round the year,” he told Hindustan Times.
“In Himachal Pradesh, the practice is prevalent due to which farmers make the optimum use of their fields.”
While the state agriculture department blames urbanization, rapid development and migration for the poor condition in the agriculture sector in the state, the overall crop area in both the states is also declining.
The figures Union ministry, states a drop of 17,000 hectare in the total cropped area in Himachal Pradesh during 2012-13 and 2013-14 which in Uttarakhand, is 25,000 hectare.
Ajay Kumar Sharma, joint director of the state agriculture department, said: “Farming is affected due to a number of reasons. Damage of crops by wild animals and migration are some the main reasons behind urbanization.”
Farmers too cite similar reasons. “Our crops are damaged by wild animals so we have stopped growing anything in our fields,” said Ramesh Rawat, a farmer from Almora.
Farmers’ reluctance to cultivate crops over the years has increased fallow farmland in the state.