State Profile : Agricultural

Area under cultivation :>

The state has 0.8 million ha of cultivated area constituting 16% of total geographical area. Over 55% of cultivated area is rainfed with frequent moisture stress to crops. The soils are low to medium in fertility status. The important crops are rice, wheat, fingermillet and maize.

(a) General Information

Uttarakhand is a northern State and situated on the southern slope of the mighty Himalayas. It borders China (Tibet) on the north, Nepal on the east and the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh to the south, Haryana to the west and Himachal Pradesh to the north west. Uttarakhand is located between 28º 43' N to 31º 27' N longitude and 77º 34' East to 81º 02' E latitude. The climate and vegetation of different cities of this state vary with the altitude of its location. Glaciers being located at the highest elevations have coolest weather and are covered by ice and bare rock. However there is dense tropical forest at the lower elevations. The Western Himalayas between 3000-3500 meters are covered with Alpine Shrub and Meadows. Two of India's mightiest rivers, the Ganges and the Yamuna start off from the glaciers of Uttarakhand. There are also several other perennial lakes and many streams in the region. The geography of Uttarakhand is so much varied that it has been geographically divided into two parts, the western half known as Garhwal and the eastern region as Kumaon. An area of 3.47 million hectare area is covered by forests. For administrative purposes it is divided into 2 divisions. There are 15,638 villages and 86 urban settlements spread across 13 districts. The population of Uttarakhand in 2001 was 8489349 comprising of 4325924 males and 4163425 females. It formed 0.82% of India's population. Population density in the State was 159/km2.

Cropping Pattern

The Zones in the State of Uttarakhand have different climatic conditions, slope, and height, the variations extending to even short distances, where the micro-climate changes due to interaction of these various factors. The farmer not only understands this but has adopted his farming practices accordingly over generations. The overall cropping pattern of the Uttarakhand is typically of an underdeveloped agricultural economy. On the whole, 86 per cent of agriculture practiced in the state is rain fed. Nearly 90% of the total cropped area is devoted to subsistence food crops mainly grown for domestic consumption and local market. Commercial or cash crops occupy a very negligible portion of the cropped area.

Farmers often grow three crops in two years Irrigated agriculture is confined to the fertile valleys in the hills, where HYVs and chemical fertilizers are used. The main crops are wheat, paddy, maize, manduwa and sanwa in food grains, urad, gram, pea, masoor & rajma in pulses and mustard, soybean, groundnut in oil seeds. Rice and wheat dominate the agricultural realm from one corner of the region to the other. Cropping pattern also varies with the variations in the climatic conditions and cropping seasons. The influence of the monsoon on the cropping pattern is very dominant; with the result of the total cropped area about 70 to 75 per cent is under 'Kharif' or rainy season crops. In the region whatever may be the type of soil or the amount of rainfall the dominance of food grains in the cropping pattern is everywhere obvious The highest sown area is under wheat crop (34.79%) followed by rice with 24.3%. Mandua, a traditional millet crop has 15.1% sown area, while the area under pulses is 4.61%. Rest of the area is under other millets including koni, jhangora, jowar, bajara, maize and oilseeds.

Scope of Farm Mechanization:

Mechanization is essential for timeliness in field operations and precision in placement of costly inputs to increase productivity, reduce unit cost of production and drudgery in farm operations as well as conservation of natural resources. For intensification of agriculture farm power availability need to be increased from the present level of about 0.60 kW/ha to about 2.0 kW/ha in by 2020. Equipment and power units suitable for hill agriculture, agro-processing and rural living needs to be selected, tested, adapted and introduced in the region. Power units like extra light power tillers, hill-side tractors, and efficient power operated tools and implements for horticultural crops should be procured and evaluated for adoption. For efficiency and economy in tillage and sowing/ planting/transplanting operations, large scale adoption of rotavators, conservation tillage technologies (zero till drills, strip till drills, roto-till-drills, till-plant machines, raised bed planters, ridger seeder etc.) and promotion of precision drills, planters and transplanters need to be given high priorities.

Agriculture in Uttarakhand

Considering that agriculture would continue to be significant driver of Annual Credit Plan for the districts. The possibilities of rapid growth in emerging areas like Contract Farming, Processing of Agri Products, Off-season Vegetable growing, Commercial Farming of Medicinal & Aromatic Plant, High Density Fruit Orchard & Floriculture.

Lead District Managers & Branch Managers should focus attention to achieve their Annual Credit Plan 2012-13 by providing banking requirements of the agriculture segment and SME sector. They should also focus on Micro Finance and SHGs opportunities for Farm Sector & Non Farm Sector activities in rural areas. Rural entrepreneurs should be given adequate opportunities to take up allied activities, food processing and other small business activities to generate rural employment and livelihood.

Integrated Industrial Hill Development Policy 2008 (amended)

The State Government has amended the 2008 hill industrial policy extending its benefits beyond 2018 to 2025. The policy which was brought in 2008 for a period of 10 years would now be available till 2025. Industries setting up new units would get all the incentives such as transport subsidy, price purchase preferences, till 2025 in case they come into production by 2015. In the subsequent period, if the industries are set up in 2016, the incentives will be available for only nine years and 2017 for eight years and 2018 for seven years. The policy would end in 2018. The limit of the capital subsidy on building plant and machinery has also been doubled to ` 60 lakh. The industries going for sizeable expansion either by investing 25 per cent of the total investment or increasing the production output by more than 25 per cent would also be eligible for all the benefits. The Government has also decided to set up 11 new industrial hubs in the state and create high-level infrastructure there. All these hubs will be set up at the district headquarters of the respective districts. The State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation for Uttarakhand (SIDCUL) which is credited for heavy industrialization in the plains, would develop these 11 new industrial hubs, at dist. Headquarters, in the hills. Further under the amended policy, Sahaspur and Raipur areas of Dehradun district and Haldwani and Ramnagar areas of Nainital district have been included in the hill area category where all the promotional benefits will be available.

State Agriculture Policy (2011) - Emphasis on Special Agriculture Zones

The State Govt. under its new Agriculture policy has focused on Special Agriculture Zones (SAZs). Under the SAZs, the government proposes to have agro-based units like fisheries, tea gardens, dairy farming and various other agriculture and horticulture activities. For the SAZ, the government has also proposed special incentives like special grants, availability of 24 hour power supply and free soil tests, setting up of special collection and processing centers for the benefit of farmers. The special feature of the SAZ would be voluntary land, consolidation since most of the land holdings in the state are fragmented.