Cultivation of unseasonal vegetables changed fate of people of remote area of Chhota Bhanghal in Kangra district
Author(s): Arvind SharmaDharamshala, August 3, 2019: Whenever there is a mention of inaccessible areas in Kangra district, the picture of the Chhota and Bara Bhangal area of the Baijnath Sub-Division immediately comes to mind. Chhota Bhangal...
Dharamshala, August 3, 2019: Whenever there is a mention of inaccessible areas in Kangra district, the picture of the Chhota and Bara Bhangal area of the Baijnath Sub-Division immediately comes to mind.
Chhota Bhangal is on the southern side of Dhouladhar ranges while Bada Bhanghal is on the other side of these snow ranges.
Chhota Bhangal is about 130 km away from the district headquarters Dharamshala and it is situated at a height of about 8,500 feet above sea level, and the entire area remains cut off the world when it remains under snow for a period of 3 months in the year.
Chhota Bhangal is situated between the tall and dense Pine forests. The populated area is spread on the both sides of the river Oahal. The main occupation of all the seven villages namely Kothi Kohar, Bargarh, Dharman, Multhan, Swai, Paolik and Luwaee is farming. The cultivation of potatoes, wheat, rajmah and maize etc. have been the main crops of these people.
A spokesperson of District Administration said that the farmers, who were barely managing their families from low yielding conventional farming, have reinforced the economy by increasing the production of unseasonal vegetables and increasing their income to hundreds of times. The state's agriculture department has inspired the farmers here to shift from traditional crops to cash crops and unseasonal vegetable production.
Approximately 2,700 hectares of land in the Chhota Bhangal is fit for cultivating.
He said, “With the help of the government, the efforts of the farmers and the cooperation of the Department of Agriculture and correct utilization of natural resources have resulted a big production of unseasonal vegetables in Chhota Bhanghal. Farmers who were earning Rs.4,000 to Rs.5,000 per canal of land here from conventional farming cultivation are now producing unseasonal vegetable and earning up to Rs.25,000 per canal.”
The farmers of this area have strengthened their economy by shifting themselves from their traditional farming to cash crop of unseasonal vegetable production. Now, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, radish and coriander are being produced here in about 700 hectares of area. About 7,000 tonnes of unseasonal vegetables are being produced in small areas, making the farmers earning of around Rs.11 crore. Farmers do not have to wander to sell their produce, as the government has set up a vegetable Mandi in Malthan itself. Apart from this, the farmers are selling their produce directly in other parts of the state, and in Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh and Delhi etc. at competitive rates.
District Agriculture Officer Kuldeep Dhiman said, “Efforts are being made to make the farmers financially strong and the benefits and information of all schemes run by the Agriculture Department are being given to the farmers. Sprinkler irrigation facility has been started in most of the villages there under the Integrated Water Works Project, with the help of NABARD.”