While the government amidst a lot of skepticism is talking about doubling farmers’ income by 2022, the year India celebrates its 75th anniversary of independence, this tiny hill state is perched at a good height to make the target achievable.
Himachal farmers are saying it with flowers. Farmers in the state have keenly been taking to floriculture, earning achievements the government can showcase. They are facing problems when it comes to post-harvest management of their crops, but they are keen to take a lead.
“You can draw conclusions from the fact that Himachal had just five hectares under floriculture in 1990, and today this area has gone up to 918 hectares. This does not include big commercial farmers who have up to 150 hectares under flower cultivation alone. Our emphasis is now on having the right crop at the right place,” disclosed Y.C.Gupta, an expert in floriculture, to The Citizen on the sidelines of a National Seminar on Doubling Income through Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture held at the Dr. Y.S.Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry here.
Farmers across the state are growing orchids, carnations, roses, gladioli, marigold and chrysanthemum. More recently they have been trying to cultivate lilies, in areas as far as the remote district of Lahaul and Spiti.