12th December, 2020 | 4:40 PM - 6:10 PM
Mountains play a crucial role in sustaining a large percentage of the world. The Himalayas are the repositories of water in the North they are the oxygen banks for a large populace not only in the Himalayas but in the large land masses in the foothills and adjoining regions. They traverse an arc of about 2500 km between the Indus and the Brahmaputra rivers and are home to more than eighty percent of the world bio- diversity.
In India, the mountain ecosystem is spread over 10 states & union territories of India: Ladakh, Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and parts of West Bengal. They are inhabited by 51 million people, covering 18 per cent of the geographical area and 6 per cent of India’s population. The rich environmental heritage of the Himalayan region is under pressure from natural and human-induced stresses.
Considering the poor scope for industrialization in mountains and perspective of rural livelihood, agriculture and its allied activities as always been viewed as an important sector for livelihood and economic growth despite its declining share in the economy. As per the independent reports of state economies available in public domain the GDP of Himachal Pradesh is 13%, Uttarakhand is 10%, Mizoram is 14%, Nagaland is 28% ( 72% of population is dependant on agriculture & allied activities) such is scenario for all mountain agriculture economies.
In view of its potential for economic growth and development of rural sector within the mountains and role of mountains in providing life sustaining water and environmental services, mountain agriculture has started receiving renewed attention of voluntary agencies and government. Mountain agriculture has its own unique characteristics and that the growth potential of hill agriculture has remained under-exploited due to various mountain specificities like undulating topography, lack of system specific technologies, poor marketing and processing infrastructure and under developed supporting institutions. Hill agriculture has several niche areas having comparative advantage for better exploitation of resources and for better trade.
Role of the IMI
The IMI has always taken up the sector in different components and sub components in SMDS ‘s as well as other events and studies. Some of the most successful ventures have been around successful values chains, innovative ideas and start up’s, taking the advantage of organic and natural. It is the endeavor of the IMI through the state chapters that the discussions and findings made in each of the SMDS ‘s factor in the forthcoming gathering and there is a an element of cumulative work leading to post conferences activities.
Agriculture and SMDS
Beginning of the SMDS the agriculture sector was covered in great detail in SMDS 4 in Itanager 2015 where a half session was dedicated to agriculture innovative and solutions. The session was moderated by ICIMOD representatives and discussion focused on the need to go from large volume and low value to high value and low volumes. The strategic approach for value chain development was on collectivization and value addition through local institutions. Agriculture and allied sector was taken up in the Leh convention in 2016 where Skill development was one of the major themes, but the sub themes was on the importance of institutionalization in the rural areas for the agri business. Agri enterprise yet again turned out to be a very interesting session in the Shimla SMDS 7 in 2018 where a group of seven successful agri- entrepreneurs discussed their success stories .
Innovative Farm Solutions , 12 December 2020
Post COVID -19 the complex agriculture scenario gets further compounded as the states grasps with the teaming population of returnees. The state is not equipped and prepared to support even a small percentage of them with livelihoods. Most of the returnees are from the rural vistas and the focus on the agriculture and allied sector gets even stronger. With the COVID scenario getting to be a new normal what are the different innovations and solutions in the farm sector which can support the mountain rural areas now with the larger populations.
The Farm solutions session will shed light and share experience of some of the successful persons in this field. There are three sub - themes in the Farm Solutions session:
- What are the innovative solutions to revive farm economy in a post Covid-19 scenario?
- Steps to promote non-farm livelihood opportunities in IHR, especially in the tourism sector.
- Role of youth engagement and entrepreneurship.