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Agriculture, Horticulture and Allied Services

7.35 Horticulture

The rich diversity of agro-climatic conditions, topographical variations and altitudinal differences coupled with fertile, deep and well drained soils favour the cultivation of temperate to sub-tropical fruits in Himachal. The region is also suitable for cultivation of ancillary horticultural produce like flowers, mushroom, honey and hops.

This particular suitability of Himachal has resulted in shifting of land use pattern from agriculture to fruit crops in the past few decades. The area under fruits, which was 792 hectares in 1950-51 with total production of 1,200 tonnes increased to 2,33,300 hectares during 2019-20 and the total fruit production was 8.45 lakh tonnes, while during 2020-21 (up to December, 2020) it has been reported as 4.82 lakh tonnes. During 2020-21 it was envisaged to bring 1,340 hectares of additional area under fruit plants against which 2,588.52 hectares of area was brought under plantation and 7.69 lakh fruit plants of different species were distributed up to 31st December, 2020.

Apple is the most important fruit crop of Himachal Pradesh, which

constitutes about 49 per cent of the total area under fruit crops and about 85 per cent of the total fruit production. Area under apple has increased from 400 hectares in 1950-51 to 3,025 hectares in 1960-61 and 1,14,144 hectares in 2019-20.

The area under temperate fruits, other than apple has increased from 900 hectares in 1960-61 to 27,956 hectares in 2019-20. Nuts and dry fruits exhibit area increase from 231 hectares in 1960-61 to 10,070 hectares in 2019-20, citrus and other sub tropical fruits have increased from 1,225 hectares and 623 hectares in 1960-61 to 25,051 hectares and 56,079 hectares in 2019-20 respectively.

The fluctuations in the production of apple during last few years has attracted the attention of the Government. The State is trying to explore and harness the vast horticulture potential of the hill State through diversified horticulture production in varied agro-ecological zones.

During the year 2020-21 for promotion of mechanized farming 1,565 Power Sprayers, 2,084 Nos. of Power Tiller (<8BHP) and 114 Power Triller (>8BHP) are being distributed on Subsidy among the orchardist under Horticulture Development Scheme.

Sub-Mission of Agriculture Mechanisation (SMSM) is being implemented in the State. Under the scheme, assistance is provided to the farmers for the purchase of various modern farm tools and machinery in form of back ended subsidy. State Agriculture Department, Himachal Pradesh is nodal Department of the


scheme. During the year 2019-20 funds amounting to ₹14.83 crore has been allocated to the Department of Horticulture out of which ₹ 12.32 crore has been spend under this scheme and 1,530 farmers have benefitted for the year 2019-20.

The fruit producers should get better price of their produce therefore marketing Intervention Scheme is being implemented in the State. Under this scheme during the year 2020-21 the procurement price of Apple ₹8.50 per Kg. The procurement price of Mango fruit is ₹8.50 per kg. of seedling Mango up to 250MT, ₹8.50 per Kg. of Grafted mango up to 500 MT and ₹8.50 per Kg.

of Unripe Achari Mango up to 500MT.

During 2020-21, 37,931 MT C-grade Apple fruit valued at ₹32.24 crore has been procured under this scheme. The procurement price of citrus fruits has been fixed to ₹7.50 per Kg for B-Grade,

₹7.00 per Kg for C-grade Kinnow/

Malta/Santra and ₹6.00 per kg for all grades Galgal fruits for the year 2020- 21. Total 0.60 MT citrus fruits have been procured under the scheme till 31.12.2020.

In warmer areas of the State Mango has emerged as an important fruit crop. Litchi is also gaining importance in certain regions. Mango and Litchi are fetching better market prices. In the middle zone, the agro- climatic conditions are highly suitable for the successful cultivation of new fruits like Kiwi, Olive, Pomegranate, Pecan and Strawberry. The production of fruits for the last three years and current year up to December, 2020 is given in table 7.8.

Table 7.8 Fruit Production

(’000 tonnes)

To bring diversification in horticulture, a total area of 399.49 hectares has been brought under flower cultivation up to 31.12.2020 To promote flower cultivation, two Tissue Culture Laboratories have been established under Model Flower Cultivation Centres at Mahogbagh (Chail, District Solan) and Palampur, District Kangra. Ten Farmers Cooperative Societies are functioning for the production and marketing of flowers in district Shimla-3 Nos, Kangra- 2 Nos, Lahaul and Spiti- 2 Nos, Kullu (Anni)-1No, Solan- 1 No. and 1 No. in Chamba district. Ancillary horticultural activities like Mushroom and Bee keeping are also being promoted. During 2020-21 up to December, 2020, 298.44 MT of pasteurized compost for Mushroom was prepared and distributed from the department units located at Rampur, Bajoura and Palampur. 1,309 MT. of Mushroom was produced in the State during the year up to December, 2020.

Under the Bee keeping programme, 393.01 MT of Honey has been produced during the year up to 31.12.2020 in the State.

Crop 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21

up to December,

2020 Apple 446.57 368.60 715.25 407.11 Other

temperate fruits

45.15 37.15 49.85 27.14

Nuts and dry fruits

3.38 3.65 4.24 1.99


fruits 26.85 29.34 32.11 13.05

Other sub tropical fruits

43.35 56.62 43.97 32.29

Total 565.30 495.36 845.42 481.58


The Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme was initially launched in Himachal Pradesh in 6 Blocks for Apple crop and in 4 Blocks for Mango crop during rabi season 2009-10 on pilot basis. In view of the popularity of this scheme, the coverage under this scheme has been extended during the consecutive years. During 2017-18, the scheme is being implemented in 36 Blocks for Apple, 41 Blocks for Mango, 15 Blocks for citrus, 13 Blocks for Plum and 5 Blocks for Peach crops. In addition, to protect Apple fruit crop from hailstorm 19 Blocks have been covered under Add- on cover scheme. From the year 2016- 17 name of the scheme has changed to Restructured Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (R-WBCIS) and sum insured has been revised and bidding system has been introduced. During Rabi season 2019-20, 84,623 farmers have been covered under R-WBCIS for apple, peach, plum, mango and citrus fruit crops, who have insured their 63,61,540 trees for which the state government has borne 25 per cent premium subsidy of ₹20.31 crore.

For the implementation of Centrally Sponsored Scheme, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) during the year 2020-21, funds amounting to

₹83.33 lakh have been received from Govt. of India and has been allocated to the field functionaries and the work is under progress. Funds have been provided under ‘Infrastructure & Asset’

scheme amounting to ₹101.24 lakh for

‘Horticulture Development through Farm Mechanization’, ₹42.00 lakh for

‘Establishment of Mushroom units’

₹73.70 lakh for ‘Creation of water sources’, ₹60.00 lakh for Pack Houses,

₹80.00 lakh for ‘Strengthening of Diagnostic facilities and infrastructure

for establishment of clean plant stock and production of virus tested plant material of Apple for distribution to farmers and ₹43.00 lakh for Establishment of High-tech nursery to boost production of fruit crop in sub- tropical areas of Himachal Pradesh under ‘Flexi Funds’ scheme. A newly launched scheme Himachal Khumb Vikas Yojna was launched during 2020-21 to promote mushroom cultivation in the State and ₹5.00 crore were received and further allocated to field functionaries. During 2020-21 till December, 2020 the Himalayan Research Group (HRG) Button Mushroom compost unit produced 120 MT of spawned compost and was provided to mushroom growers in Shimla, Mandi and Kullu District. On average 20% conversion it was estimated that quantity of compost produced 24MT Mushrooms during this duration. In the year 2020-21 a fund of

₹20.00 crore have been allocated under

“Installation of Anti-Hail Nets” Scheme to protect the fruit crops from hail storms and expenditure of ₹11.68 crore have been incurred up to December, 2020 by benefitting 1,231 farmers were benefitted.

The achievement made under Himachal Khumb Vikas Yojna during the year 2020-21 is shown as below table:-


Table 7.9

Source: Department of Holticulture, H.P.

For providing employment to the skilled and unskilled unemployed youth and promoting Commercial Floriculture Farming in the State, funds have been allocated under ‘Himachal Pushp Kranti Yojna’ amounting to

₹10.00 crore during the year 2020-21.

To produce quality fruit crops and increasing production, to increase honey production and other bee products, ‘Mukhya Mantri Madhu Vikas Yojna’ has been started. A fund of

₹5.00 crore have been allocated during the year 2019-20.

Centrally sponsored scheme,

Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture” (MIDH) is being implemented in the State under which assistance is provided as back ended subsidy @ 50% to farmers for carrying out various horticultural activities like cultivation of fruits, flowers, vegetables, species and establishment of new gardens, Mushroom Production, Green House cultivation of High value flowers and vegetables, Anti Hail Nets,

Horticulture Mechanization, Post Harvest Management etc.

For the implementation of the Centrally Sponsored Scheme, MIDH during the year 2020-21 funds amounting to ₹50.81 crore have been approved out of which ₹22.22 crore have been received from Govt. of India as first instalment and a total number of 2,56,843 farmers have benefited from the year 2003-04 to December, 2020 under this Mission. To promote protected cultivation in horticulture the State Government has enhanced subsidy under Poly Houses from 50% to 85% and 87,000 Sq. Mt. area is targeted to be brought under Green Houses during the year 2020-21.

7.36 Pradhan Mantri Krishi