Shimla: Inclement weather and diseases triggered by it have came heavily on the livelihood of lakhs of farmers in Himachal Pradesh, as production of perishable vegetable items has fallen short of the expected targets this year.
Predicting shortfall in the vegetable production by one lake tonnes in Himachal which is known for high quality off-season vegetables, director agriculture JC Rana said production is likely to be about 5.50 lakh tonnes, corresponding to a target of 6.50 lakh tonnes. He said that excessive rains triggered ‘Buck-eye rot’ fungal and ‘Leaf spot’ bacteria-based diseases, resulting in huge damage to crops.
State Met director Manmohan Singh said that during the ongoing monsoon season the state recorded 890 mm rain so far, against average 790 mm, which is 12 per cent in excess. Kullu district recorded 104 per cent excess rainfall and Shimla district 40 per cent excess.
Horticulture and agriculture contributes 18 per cent to the state GDP as 80 per cent of household are engaged in this profession, but small land holdings prevent farmers from reaping high benefits despite they produces mostly organic vegetables having high demand in the country.