The Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Development Society serves as the implementing agency for the project, it intends to provide ICT based platforms for electronic delivery of department specific services of Horticulture Department, automating all the administrative activities of Horticulture department and HP HDP, implementation of MIS integrated with the workflow of Himachal Pradesh Nursery cum demonstration orchards development and management society (SPV) for the implementation of HPHDP.
The expansion of area cultivated with non-food grain crops was a significant factor influencing the growth of rural non-farm employment in the state. 90 percent of the population of Himachal Pradesh resides in rural areas as of the latest census, and 88 percent are small and marginal farmers. The average operational land holding is less than one hectare. About 70 percent of the state's overall employment is in agriculture and the rural economy.
Women are significant contributors in agriculture, horticulture, and livestock/dairying sectors. In horticulture, women continue to provide significant labor and supervisory input to preharvest and post-harvest activities. However, their access to horticulture technologies and extension services, market infrastructure/information, skill and entrepreneurship development opportunities and decision making structures remains weak
" Horticulture in HP has been responsible for many of the positive outcomes in employment, wages, and in turn, poverty reduction. Employment in horticulture as a percentage of all agricultural employment in HP increased from 0.9 percent to 28 percent between 1983 and 2009-10. Crop diversification has made a significant impact on income and employment among small and marginal farmers. "
Notwithstanding the significant potential of horticulture production in HP to contribute to higher economic growth and poverty reduction objectives, the state faces a number of sectoral, institutional and policy challenges which need to be addressed more systematically if the full potential is to be realized and translated into sustainable development impacts.These include:
The strategy of GoI and Government of Himachal Pradesh (GoHP) to address the constraints for the rapid and sustainable development of the horticulture sector includes a variety of initiatives. This focus on growth through diversification into high value horticulture production by creating an environment that enables the farming community to acquire the necessary technical knowledge and capacity to capitalize on emerging market opportunities. 3 The GoHP actively supports the implementation of Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS). The GoHP is also pioneering a number of initiatives emphasizing carbon-sensitive and environmentally sustainable watersheds.
The State is also first to have a large scale forestry Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project the Himachal Pradesh Reforestation Project, Improving Livelihoods and Watersheds (CDM Project 4174). The state's strategic shift to and emphasis on high value horticulture opens the financial viability of providing irrigation, which in turn provides improved resilience against rainfall uncertainties. The proposed Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Development Project (HPHDP) represents a major shift in how the long term development of the horticulture sector can be supported through an integrated value chain approach. As such the HPDHP expands investments in production, processing, and marketing while improving service delivery. The project supports the modernization of the horticulture sector through the application of new technologies and approaches that will contribute to climate resiliency, strengthen the productive capacities of producers and their organizations, and facilitate access to markets and value addition for selected commodities. 5 It will facilitate improved access to and use of financial services�in particular credit and insurance�for farmers and agro-enterprises by supporting new product development and financial counseling.