Research Activities

In the field of research, the following areas has been delineated as priority area:

Agricultural Economics:

  • Forecasting farm prices for important fruits, vegetables and cereal crops
  • Diversification of hill agriculture, its impact on development
  • Economics of mountain farming systems
  • Resource use efficiency and sustainability of Hill agriculture
  • Research in the field of marketing to generate scientific basis for market intervention and market development policies in the field of horticulture and forestry.
  • Economic analysis of various development projects.
  • Market research to explore export potentials and performance of horticultural produce.

 

Natural Resource Economics:

  • Marketing of forest produce.
  • Joint Forest Management (JFM) – evaluation and policy implications
  • Community watershed development – impact and assessment.
  • Common Property Resource Management in Himachal Pradesh – Problems and policy implications.
  • Economics of agro-forestry systems.
  • Economics of production and marketing of medicinal and aromatic plants.

 

Salient achievements 

  • An alternative project evaluation technique of estimating internal rate of return has been standardized resulting in exact value through stepwise adoption of mathematical formula. This is a major breakthrough as earlier IRR technique was based on hit and trial method.
  • Methodology for calculating grade-wise support price of fruits has been developed. The complexity in the old techniques of estimating depreciation values have been simplified through the development of new, simple and efficient depreciation calculating method.
  • The economic analysis of fruit transportation system in the state, showed a total of 23.57 per cent post-harvest losses in apple ranging from field to ultimate Delhi market. The transportation losses alone accounted for 9.95 per cent of total produce. In monetary terms, the loss per 100 kg of production is estimated to be Rs. 313.46 (1999-2000). The use of CFB cartons for apple packaging was found to be more economical and is therefore recommended to the department of Horticulture and other marketing agencies.
  • The total post harvest losses in mango, peach and citrus fruits (Kinnow) were calculated as 24.85 per cent, 18.31 per cent and 24.50 per cent respectively. The respective transportation losses accounted for 3.35 per cent, 1.05 per cent and 3.15 per cent for these crops.
  • It has been recommended that for increasing transit efficiency, additional/ special counters in intermediate barriers should be established for the collection of taxes during peak season. The congestion and delay is otherwise resulting in quality loss of fruits.
  • The yield gap of nearly 20 per cent between average yield and attainable yield in experimental trials was assessed in capsicum (irrigated) and beans (irrigated and unirrigated) in Solan District.
  • The yield gap of 40 - 60 per cent was registered for maize, paddy, potato and wheat (irrigated). The yield gap in milk production was found to be 64.22 per cent per crossbred cow per day in Solan district (1998) These existing yield gaps for various farm activities were found to be directly linked with the adoption of modern production technologies.
  • The lack of technical knowledge in the application of fertilizers, plant protection measures, selection of appropriate varieties, agronomic and cultural practices along with high cost of critical inputs coupled with low purchasing power of farmers are acting as the major stumbling blocks in the adoption of modern farm technologies in Solan district. Inadequate extension services have been reported as one of the hindrances in the adoption of modern technology.
  • The study of flower production showed input-output ratio of 1.26 for Gladiolus and 1.86 for Lilium.
  • Cost of cultivation of important fruits grown in Himachal Pradesh is regularly being compiled. The benefit cost ratio for apple was in general found to be 2.83 with 29.66 per cent internal rate of return giving net income of Rs. 70,000 - 80,000 per hectare of apple trees. The fruits in general showed better comparative advantage over cereals with benefit cost ratio of 2 to maximum of 4 and internal rate of return ranging from 25-30 per cent depicting net income of Rs. 50,000 - 80,000 per hectare.
  • Scientific collection of minor forest produce by local right holders needs to be encouraged. The over-exploitation and unscientific harnessing is challenging the overall sustainability of minor forest produce. The forest department which issues the licenses, should impart trainings to license holders with regard to proper collection of the produce.
  • A study was conducted on Agroforestry System in Mid-Hill Zone of Himachal Pradesh. Agriculture was contributing maximum (52.96%) of total farm income followed by livestock and pasture (28.39%), horticulture (10.31%) and forestry (9.06%). So the system identified was Agri-Pastoral-Horti-Silviculture system. At overall level in 2012-13 agricultural income of household was Rs.1,26,278. Agriculture was main occupation of 78% workers. Grassland accounted highest proportion (61.41%) of total land holding. Average holding of farmers was 2.41 ha. and the share of cultivated land varied between 31.57% (medium farms) to 45.64 % small farms. Vegetables like tomato, capsicum, beans, peas comprised of 46.65% area, followed by cereals (43%) like maize, wheat, barley and agroforestry (8.21%) of gross cropped area. At overall level cropping intensity was 178.58% and density of trees was 42 trees per ha, which was highest on large farms. Average livestock holding of farmers was 7.04, comprised of cross-breed and local and are partly stallfed and partly grazed. Total cost incurred on components of system was 1.82 lacs and net income was Rs. 2.38 lacs. There was 100% adoption of HYVs in vegetables while 93% and 90% in maize and wheat. On an average farmers were using pesticides of Rs 6372 per ha and 104.63 kg fertilizers per ha of gross cropped area. Average crop yields of maize, tomato, capsicum, beans, wheat, barley and peas was 23.92, 188.29, 118.4, 86.58, 16.19, 17.16 and 64.47 Qtls per ha. In regression factors like farm size, family size, literacy, number of fragments was found significant and thus affect tree plantation activity on farms. Study showed that there was scope of increasing incremental income by Rs 29722 per ha from grassland by adopting new technology given by UHF Nauni, while, existing AF technology was more paying than new technology on cultivated land because wild Pomegranate was valuable species growing in that area. At overall level there exist scope of increasing net income of Rs. 26430 by further planting wild pomegranate trees on small (2), medium(7) and large(12) farm Category. Inadequate irrigation facilities, insect-pest and ravages of wild birds and animals were main problems in agriculture and horticulture. Non-availability of novel tree species, barriers for cutting of trees, long gestation period were problems related to forestry in study area. In pasture and livestock major problems were overgrazing and deforestation, poor quality of grasses. Lack of participatory approach, lack of involvement of social institutions and lack of incentives to farmers were some of the other problems in adopting agroforestry practices.
  • The medicinal plant market in Himachal Pradesh is oligopsonic in nature i.e., a small number of large buyers controlling the buying side results in the dominance of buyers thus making medicinal plants market a buyer’s market and non-price competitive in nature. So, they compete with each other through improved working conditions and merging of two buyer’s results in greater control over the market and cooperation through secret collusion to control prices and exploitation of sellers.
  • Most of the species showed normal price-demand behavior except Bankakdi, Kuth and Kutki. The reasons for the positive demand-price relationship were derived demand for medicinal plants and the priority of the pharmacy for the finished products. It has been suggested that medicinal plants like Kutki, Kuth and Bankakdi should be given priority in the light of their positive scarcity ratios.
  • A Study was Conducted on Production and Marketing of Wild pomegranate in the Mid-Hill Zone of Himachal Pradesh. It was found that Wild pomegranate occupies 0.08 ha of the agricultural area and 0.10 ha in ghasnis/ pasture in the sampled farms which increased with size of the farm. The cropping intensity at overall level worked out to 134.31 per cent. The cultivation of wild pomegranate contributed 8.02 per cent to total household income at overall level. Per hectare total cost of cultivating wild pomegranate was Rs. 2752.50, Rs. 2979.50, Rs. 3078.00 and Rs. 3187.50 in marginal, small, medium and large farmers respectively. The maintenance cost of non-bearing plants was Rs. 3543.82, Rs. 3626.62 and Rs. 3714.28 per hundred plants in first, second and third year respectively. The share of labour cost varied from 19.49 to 20.50 per cent, while the proportion of family labour in total labour was 80.75 per cent. The per cent share of material cost in total cost was 22.15, 22.95 and 23.69 per cent in first, second and third year respectively. Maintenance cost during bearing stage at overall level was increasing with the age from Rs. 5567.36, Rs. 6818.71, Rs. 7662.97 to Rs. 8072.92 in the age groups of 4-7, 8-11, 12-15 and 16-24 years respectively and then decreased to Rs. 6994.22 and Rs. 6260.42 in the age group of 25-27 and 28-30 years respectively. The proportionate share of variable costs in the total cost was 49.60 to 65.49 per cent and showed increasing trend up to the age group of 16-24 years and thereafter, a declining trend was observed. Fixed cost contributed 34.51 to 50.40 per cent in the total cost. The share of labour in total cost varied between 27.23 to 45.74 per cent in the different age groups. The share of family labour in total labour was about 80.00 per cent. The total material cost was found 14.22 to 17.02 per cent of total cost and showed an increasing trend with the increase in age. Processing cost which is a human labour cost and all work was carried out by family labour in all categories of farmers, was worked out to Rs. 6665.04, Rs. 23729.27, Rs. 26231.25, Rs. 32669.16, Rs. 26399.45 and Rs. 23532.04 for the fruits obtained in the age groups of 4-7, 8-11, 12-15, 16-24, 25-27 and 28-30 respectively, after which the cost of processing declined while the highest gross returns obtained was Rs. 53486.87 in the age group of 16-24 years. The pay back period of wild pomegranate plantation was at 8 years for all the farm categories. At overall level, NPV was estimated to be Rs. 19714.12 per hundred plants at 12 per cent discount rate and was negative for all the farm sizes at the discount rate of 24 per cent. The internal rate of return estimated to be 20.35 percent at overall level. At the discount rate of 12 per cent and 18 per cent benefit-cost ratio for all categories was found to be greater than unity. Further it was observed that marginal farmers could not bear any increase in costs up to 10 per cent at the discount rate of 12 per cent. Wild pomegranate plantations was feasible in case of medium and large farmers at the discount rate of 12 per cent if the returns decreased by 10 per cent however, marginal and small farmers could not bear this increase. At 18 per cent of discount rate only marginal farmers could withstand up to 10 per cent increase in costs, but if the returns decrease by 10 per cent the plantation could be failed. At the discount rate of 24 per cent no plantations are feasible. The agencies involved in the marketing of anardana and its by-product in the study area are local traders, primary wholesalers, secondary wholesalers and retailers. Local traders were found the most prominent intermediary in the marketing of anardana. It was observed that Channel- C; Producer–Local Trader–Secondary Wholesaler– Consumer (Industries), was found to be the most preferred channel, since 47.50 per cent of the produce was traded through this channel.Lack of irrigation facilities, lack of quality planting material and lack of technical knowhow were some of the production problems faced by the farmers in the study areas.
  • Livelihoods security of migrant pastoralists in Nepal has been of interest to researchers, development specialists and policy makers. A study was undertaken with a view to analyze the linkages with the pasture lands and the rural livelihood security. It was found that the factors like membership of local organizations, land holding square, area of common pastureland GINI Ratio and its square, and income from livestock were found to affect the collective behaviour for the management of common pastureland. Area of common pastureland, Gini ratio and income from livestock were positively and significantly, whereas, membership of local organizations and quadratic form of GINI ratio were negatively and significantly related with collective action for the management of pastureland. It was found that the acceleration in the inequality and collective action were inversely related.
  • Average willingness to pay of the users of pastureland was found higher than the non users and varied from NRs276 to 553 per hectare per year on an average factors like cost of stay, management level (Dummy), family size and value of the resource use were found major determinants for willingness to pay. It can further be inferred that cost of stay, management level and livestock units were positively and significantly, whereas family size and value of resource use were found negatively and significantly affecting the willingness to pay.It was found that cost of stay per hectare was the most important factor for the willingness to pay among non users and users. It was found positively and significantly (<0.01%) related with the willingness to pay for improving the pastureland from base level to its better level.
  • The Study Conducted on Economics of Production and Marketing of Important Medicinal and Aromatic Plants in Himachal Pradesh showed that on an average, per hectare total cost of cultivating Aloe vera was Rs. 140057.88, Rs. 60533.31 in the 1st and 2nd year of plantation while Rs. 47748.06 per hectare during 3rd to 5th per year respectively while the gross returns obtained for different years were Rs. 35755.51, Rs. 97867.66, Rs. 109381.81, Rs. 112318.20 and Rs. 110227.19 for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th year respectively. Net present value was estimated to be Rs. 52944.82, with benefit cost ratio 1.18 and IRR of 36 per cent. Per hectare total cost of Stevia cultivation on overall farms was found to be Rs. 478941.51, Rs. 66915.82 for the 1st and 2nd year of plantation while Rs. 44824.00 in 3rd, 4th, and 5th year respectively while the gross returns obtained for different years were Rs. 115953.68, Rs. 217254.82, Rs. 227173.10, Rs. 237978.97 and Rs. 232910.54 for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th year respectively. The value of net present worth was found Rs. 1.40 lacs with a benefit cost ratio of 1.22 and IRR of 32 per cent. Per hectare total cost of Lemon grass cultivation was found to be Rs. 78909.47, Rs. 53338.81 in the 1st and 2nd year of plantation while Rs. 49774.57 per year from 3rd to 5th year, the gross returns obtained for different years were Rs. 20570.26, Rs. 74497.23, Rs. 87120.91, Rs. 89837.04 and Rs. 88302.98 for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th year respectively. The financial indicators such as net present value (Rs. 36669.08), B/C ratio 1.16 and IRR (40 %) showed economic feasibility of lemon grass in the study area. Total cost of cultivation of Safed Musli, at an overall level was found to be Rs. 286217.99 and returns were found to be 371680.00 per hectare. It was noted that major cost of plantations was of the material cost in the 1st and 2nd year while labour cost was found to be dominating after 2nd year. The benefit cost ratio for Safed Musli was estimated to be 1.30 at overall level. Cooperative marketing channel was found the most prominent channel in case of Aloe vera and Stevia followed by local trader cum commission agent channel. Processing unit channel was found the most prominent channel in case of Lemon grass and Safed musli. It was found that in case of Safed musli more than 50 per cent of the produce could not be sold due to lack of market in the study area. High prices of the quality planting material, lack of technical knowhow, lack of availability of the planting material, were some of the production problems faced by the farmers in the study areas. Lack of processing facilities, absence of minimum support price, lack of regulated markets, lack of technical knowledge about grading and that of high cost of transportation were found to be the major problems in the marketing of M&AP’s. Poor access to good credit facilities due to lot of formalities involved in obtaining subsidies and in institutional finance and lack of poor extension activities were some of the other constraints in the cultivation of M&AP’s.

DETAILS OF RESEARCH PROJECTS HANDLED BY THE DEPARTMENT

Sr.
No

Title of the scheme/ project

Principal
Investigator/
Collaborator

Total
Budget

Date of
start

Dateof
Completion

Funding
Agency

 

1.

 

 

Socio-economic Bench Mark Survey of selected Proposed irrigation sites Solan, Sirmour, Una and Hamirpur Distt.

 

SC Tewari
LR Sharma

 

2,13,600

 

4/1989

 

5/1992

 

USAID

 

2.

 

Impact of Government Assistance on operation and maintenance of Rural Development Department Kuhls in Solan and Sirmour district

 

SC Tewari
Ramesh Chand

 

1,97,500

 

6/1989

 

5/1992

 

USAID

 

3.

 

Economics of important social forestry species grown in various agro-climatic zones of HP

 

SC Tewari,
OP Sambhar,
YS Negi/
Manoj Gupta

 

3,50,000

 

5/1989

 

5/1992   

 

World Bank

 

4.

 

Economics of Production and Marketing of Important Temperate and sub-tropical fruits in HP

 

SC Tewari/
LR Sharma/
YS Negi/
Ramesh Chand

 

5,70,300

 

5/1989

 

5/1992

 

ICAR

 

5.

 

An economic analysis of investments in irrigation tubewells in Himachal Pradesh

 

Ramesh Chand/
SC Tewari

 

1,17,040

 

10/90

 

2/1992

 

USAID

 

6.

 

Women’s role in irrigated hill agriculture system

 

Ramesh Chand/
SC Tewari

 

74,000

 

10/90

 

5/1992

 

USAID

 

7.

 

Evaluation of integrated tribal development projects - Lahaul & Spiti in HP

 

LR Sharma/
SC Tewari

 

30,000

 

10/90

 

4/1992

 

State Govt.

 

8.

 

Estimation of consumption pattern and supply of forest products in various river basins in HP

 

SC Tewari/
LR Sharma

 

4,45,000

 

1/1990

 

1/1995

 

State Govt.

 

9.

 

Marketing channels and margins in Farm Forest Tree production in Punjab

 

SC Tewari/
Ramesh Chand/
YS Negi/
SK Goyal

 

1,18,500

 

3/1991

 

2/1993

 

NCWD

 

10.

 

Economic analysis of collection and marketing of important Non-wood forest products in Tribal areas of HP

 

SC Tewari/
YS Negi/
RS Prasher

 

3,91,600

 

7/1996

 

7/1999

 

ICFRE

11

 

An economic analysis of fruit transportation system - A case study of Himachal Pradesh

 

RS Prasher/
SC Tewari/
YS Negi

 

2,00,000

 

2/1996

 

2/1998

 

GOI

 

12.

 

Technological Gaps in Agriculture Sector - A study in various agro-climatic zones of Solan district of HP

 

LR Sharma

 

92,800

 

5/1997

 

3/1999

 

State Govt.

 

13.

 

Base line survey of agriculture resources in Solan and Shimla districts of HP

 

AL Nadda

 

1,43,000

 

8/1997

 

3/1999

 

State Govt.

 

14.

 

Marketing mechanism for Farm Forestry trees - A case of important north Indian markets

 

YS Negi/
SC Tewari/
MS Negi

 

7,01,400

 

8/1997

 

12/2001

 

ICFRE

15.

Methodologies for Assessing Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the HK - Himalayan Region - Ecoregional Framework

 

KK Raina

2,00,000

1/2001

12/2003

ICIMOD, Nepal

16.

Development of Cost-Effective Technology for Treatment of Choes (Rainy season torrents)

IP Sharma/ AK Randev

30,00,000

2001

2004

NAIP, New Delhi

17.

Landuse planning for Management of Agricultural Resources

D Tripathi/ YS Negi

10,88,000

2001

2004

NAIP

18.

Senstization of Rural Women for Agro-based entrepreneurial Training Interventions in Himachal Pradesh

YS Negi

11,45,430

1/2002

2004

ICAR, New Delhi

19.

System Oriented Socio-economic Assessment of Transition in Hill Agriculture

Ravinder Sharma/
RS Prasher

30,00,000

2001

2005

NAIP, New Delhi

20.

Sarswati Bal Vidya Sankalap Yojaja

KK Raina

1,00,600

5/2004

12/2005

HP Govt.

21.

Approaches to Marketing and Crop Diversification of Important Commercial Vegetables of Himachal Pradesh

LR Sharma & YS Negi

5,00,000

4/2004

3/2006

HP Govt.

22.

Concurrent  Evaluation of Centrally Sponsored Scheme for the Development of Horticulture under Macro Management of Horticulture in HP

Ravinder Sharma/ KK Raina

5,00,000

2004

2006

HP Govt.

23.

District Human Development Reports for Mandi District (FMS-049-18)

MK Vaidya/ LR Sharma/ YS Negi

6,02,508

8/2006

3/2007

HP Govt.

24.

Evaluation of National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NPNSPE) Mid Day Meal Scheme in HP (FMS-53-18)

MK Vaidya/ DD Sharma

6,27,210

7/2007

3/2008

DPE, Shimla

25.

Base Line Survey and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) Shongtong – Karchhat HEP (420 MW)” (FMS-062-18)

Dr LR Sharma/ Dr MK Vaidya

8.00

11/08

8/20009

 

26.

Evaluation of Swaran Jyanti Swarojgar Yojna in Himachal Pradesh (HMS-200-18)

 

Dr Ravinder Sharma

5.03

11/08

10/2009

 

27.

Base Line Survey and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) Shawra - Kuddu HEP (111 MW)” (FMS-062-18)

Dr KK Raina/ DD Sharma/ Kapil Kathuria/ R Gupta

9.50

4/2009

9/2009

 

28.

Distribution of benefits and costs among stake-holders of protected areas : An empirical study of Grate Himalayan National Park in Kullu (HP)

Dr RS Parasher/ Dr YS Negi

5.02

8/2009

7/2011

 

29.

Farm and  Non farm Sector Employment and Tribal Women- A Socio- Economic Analysis

Dr.Ravinder Sharma/ YS Negi

7,57,000

3/2006

3/2008

 

30.

Evaluation of National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education (NPNSPE) Mid Day Meal Scheme in HP (FMS-53-18)

MK Vaidya/
DD Sharma

6,27,210

7/2007

3/2008

 

31.

Visioning & Strategic Planning of Hill Agriculture in India

YS Negi/MK Vaidya/ LR Sharma

4,00,000

4/2010

3/2012

 

 

On Going Research Projects

1

Network Project on Market Intelligence (FGI-084-18)

Dr. LR Sharma/ Dr.Ravinder Sharma / Subash Sharma/ MK Vaidya

34.46 Lacs

07/2013

3/2017

NCAP New Delhi

2

Diversification and Development of Mountain Agriculture- A Case Study  of Himachal Pradesh

Dr.RS Prasher/ YS Negi

20,00,000

5/2013

3/2015

ICSSR
New Delhi