Sowing the Seeds of Change: Shifting from Traditional Cropping to Cash Cropping-Some Illustrations from Western Himalayas

Friday, July 18, 2014: 10:00 AM
Room: 315
Oral Presentation
Mohinder KUMAR SLARIYA , Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Turku, Finland
Reija HIETALA , Department of Geology and Geography, Finland
Around 10,000 years ago human being had started domestication of plants and animals, even before this period, people had been altering pants and animal for their own benefit by using other means such as fire-stick farming. With the changes in almost every sphere of life, agriculture has also undergone change particularly in developed and developing world, and has been characterized by enhanced productivity, the replacement of human labour to mechanization and the introduction of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, selective breeding has changed the fate of agriculture round the globe and Himalayan states are not exception.

Present paper is based on primary study conducted in Chamba and Kangra districts of Himachal Pradesh. In the state agriculture contributes nearly 45% to the net state domestic product and about 93% of the state population depends directly or indirectly upon agriculture, moreover it is main source of income as well as employment.

The paper is an attempt to analyse the shift from traditional crops to cash crops which is based on primary data based research collected from two study districts from the state of Himachal Pradesh in India dividing two districts in four sub-districts and further in 30 panchayats (lowest administrative unit) and 73 villages and atleast selecting three respondents from each village, 200 respondents have been interviewed to arrive at desirable results. People have shifted from traditional crops to vegetables, seri-culture and horticulture and earning very good income and experienced change in the amenities available in the household as well as they are capable to provide better living conditions. Study concluded with observation that at present, the seeds of change has sown and now the change is visible and people of the hilly region are changing traditional crops and shifting to cash crops.