Agriculture Development Project at Pinder Valley in Uttaranchal

Pinder Valley (Chamoli and Bageshwar districts), Uttaranchal
Project Duration Year

2001 – 2006

Pinder Valley
Direct Beneficiaries 300
Funding Agency Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council, Department of Science and technology, New Delhi
Implementing Agency
Uttaranchal Youth and Rural Development Centre, Narain Bagar

Project area covered :

District Development Blocks
Chamoli Narayan Bagar
Bageshwar Kapkot

Project Objectives
1. Imparting training and demonstration of protected cultivation technology for vegetables and fruits, particularly raising nursery of off-season vegetables under polyhouse condition along with seed production
2. Promotion of medicinal plants cultivation under polyhouse condition and strengthening the market linkages for marketing the produce
3. Demonstration of solar drying system for drying of fruits and vegetables.
4. Training and capacity building on viable farm based technologies to farmers for overall agricultural development
5. Documentation of Medicinal herbs available in the region.
6. Creation of irrigation facilities at high altitude village Ghesh


The Setting :

India is the second largest producer of vegetables in the world, accounting for about 10 per cent of the world’s vegetable production. It is projected that the domestic vegetable requirements will rise from current levels of 83-91 million tones to 151-193 million tones by the year 2030. In order to achieve this, popularization of scientific and improved methods of vegetable cultivation and their seed production is of utmost importance with reference to specific agro-climatic conditions and unexplored niches in hilly regions of our country, which permits production of a wide variety of good quality vegetables. Ironically, the farmers in hilly areas are today no longer able to sustain themselves at the level of self-sufficiency. Reduction in the density of forest cover and overgrazing has led to soil erosion of unprecedented proportions. Land and water resources are becoming even scarce.

The only solution to overcome this situation is to popularize scientifically developed methods of vegetable cultivation practices for the improvement of agro-socio-economic conditions of the people. The necessary research and development programs must be carried out in the hilly region itself, this way the outcome of such work will be best suited to the agro-climatic condition of the region.

Greenhouse technology for production of vegetables has been found to be an appropriate intervention in the development of horticulture in these difficult terrains. Even though the present area under greenhouse in our country may be less, there is a large untapped potential in the hilly terrains, which would bring nutritional self-sufficiency besides enhancing the income of people and providing on-farm employment.


Intervention :

The institution initiated Agricultural development project at Pinder Valley, Uttaranchal with the support from TIFAC under Technology Vision 2020 Mission Mode Projects on Agriculture with a task to alleviate poverty and provide food and nutritional security to the people through application of science and technology. The rural community of Pinder valley remained neglected and deprived of the benefits, despite its high productive potential for growing vegetables, medicinal plants besides their own traditional crops. Keeping this in view, the region was taken as the target area to start with for S&T intervention towards agriculture development in Uttaranchal hills. This valley is situated between 31o N and 79o-80o E at 1160 m above msl and covers about 1086.4 sq. km area. This valley is divided in three developmental blocks namely, Deval, Narainbagar and Tharali. Crop productivity of these areas is quite low except potato. During the project phase the program was further extended to Kapkot block of Bhageswar district to promulgate the benefits to wider spectrum of hill community. TIFAC - UYRDC initiated the project work in Febraury, 2001 by conducting a benchmark survey to identify the target areas for intervention with above mentioned objectives.


Salient Achievement

• Few unemployed youths of Pinder Valley were given training on construction of poly houses and its use, in the Division of Agricultural Engineering, IARI, New Delhi with view to develop entrepreneurship. These youths are now instrumental in popularising the poly house technology in Uttaranchal hills. They have prepared another two batches of trained boys for fabrication and erection of polyhouse.

• Under this project so far around 300 polyhouses have been erected in different villages of Pinder valley at three different altitudes. Ten poly tunnels were also been erected in the project area. Details of polyhouse construction are as follows:

In these polyhouses, farmers are cultivating vegetables and producing seedlings. The projects main focus was on capacity building of farmers and promotion of vegetable, medicinal and herbal plants cultivation. Extensive training is being imparted to farmers on various aspects of cultivating vegetables and their seed production under protected conditions. Apart from self consumption, farmers are generating income by selling vegetables and seedlings. Irrigation facilities created at village Ghesh is catering to the irrigation and other domestic requirements of the farmers. Three solar drying systems have been installed at project site which are being utilized for drying of orange peels, fruits, vegetables and meat. As part of documentation of selected medicinal plants available in the region, around 160 medicinal plants have been documented. Cultivation of remunerative medicinal and herbal plants is also being carried out for enhancing the income of farmers.

The inflow of vegetables from lower altitudes/plains to higher altitudes has been reduced significantly. Few farmers are getting good returns from selling vegetables. At higher altitudes in extreme cold conditions farmers are cultivating off-season vegetables and medicinal plants, which are highly remunerative. The paramount motive of this endeavor is to increase the income of farmers and improve their quality of life.



Other initiatives :
• Organizing training and demonstration programmes on following aspects at villages of project area for the benefit of farmers:
o Improved methods of vegetable cultivation and their seed production
o Off-season vegetable production
o Important aspects of hill agriculture
o Bio-compost and vermicompost preparation
• Facilitating availability of quality farm inputs like to the farmers.
• Organizing Kisan mela cum awareness programmes
• Institutional training of few progressive farmers on important aspects of hill agriculture in order to promote them as local initiators/motivators for disseminating technical knowledge.

In order to promote vegetable and medicinal plants cultivation in the region and for the benefit of farmers in the project area a Handbook in Hindi on ‘Improved methods of vegetable and medicinal plants cultivation in hilly areas’ published by TIFAC and it was released in the inaugural function of Kisan mela held on 13th Nov. 2005 at Narain Bagar, Chamoli. Handbook was released in the inaugural function of Kisan mela by Padma Shri. Prof. A.N. Purohit, Former V.C. H.N.B. Garhwal University.

The handbook was distributed to the farmers. About 1000 farmers participated in the Kisan mela. In the same event, farmers growing medicinal and herbal plants received cheques from private entrepreneur as a part of buy back initiative to sell the farmers produce on farm. The qualitative and quantitative benefits emanating from the project were showcased in a regional trade fair at Gauchar popularly known as ‘Gauchar Mela’ in Chamoli district in November, 2005. This project was completed in September, 2006.


Benefits :

Quantitative Benefits :
Qualitative Benefits :
Return from cultivation in polyhouse (24 sq mtr : 6 X 4 sqmtr) is averaged at Rs.10,000 to Rs.15,000 Annually in Pinder Valley Immediate availability to fresh food & Nutritional Security to Households
Significant Increase in crop yield from 50% to 300% compared to Outside cultivation Increased Social Network & Reduced Drudgery of Farmers (women/men)
Benefited 300 Households
Direct Beneficiaries 2000+ population
Indirect Beneficiaries : 15000+
Effective Management of Time, Energy and money by farmers
Earnings have been derived from :
Seasonal cultivation, Off Seasonal Cultivation, High Value Crops Cultivation (Medicinal and Aromatic Crops)
Increased yields qualitatively of seasonal and off seasonal crops.
Increased youth participation and Reduced Migration from the valley


Links and Downloads of the Program :
See report also in :TIFAC, Department of Science and Technology website
Download the complete project Report of the Program Uttaranchal Agriculture Development Program

Download presentation of Uttaranchal Agriculture Development Program


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