Vertical zonation of horticultural farming in the Alaknanda basin of Garhwal Himalaya, India
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Horticultural practice in the Himalayas has great importance not only for economic development but also for environmental restoration. In the entire Himalayan mountain system, from Jammu and Kashmir Himalaya to Assam Himalaya, the practice of horticulture is centuries old, which includes varieties of fruits along with availability of high quality and quantity. In terms of the Alaknanda Basin, which is centrally located in the Himalayan system, the practice of horticulture does not get commercial level; only it is cultivated domestically.
The climatic conditions ranging from sub-tropical (low-lying river valleys) to alpine and frigid (highly elevated regions) are suited for varieties of fruit cultivation, yet the benefit of this could not be utilized by the residents who are working in the agricultural fields.
• Sub-tropical zone including the lower part of the Alaknanda, Pindar, Nandakini, and Mandakini rivers is suitable for mango, guava, and papaya;
• Sub-temperate zone in the middle basin of the Alaknanda, Pindar, Nandakini and Mandakini rivers is a good place for citrus fruits, particularly orange and lemon;
• Temperate zone occupying the Dauli, Vishnu Ganga, Upper Pinder, Nandakini and Mandakini rivers is highly productive for apple, nut and stone fruits;
• Alpine meadows in the highly elevated region are known as Bugyal famous for herb culture.
Each of these zones has distinct physical features, environmental conditions and socio-economic identity for fruit cultivation. The present paper aims to discuss about the vertical zonation of the horticultural farming and its nature, in terms of development, in the Alaknada Basin.
KeywordsHorticultural practice domestic production fruit herb culture wild fruit fruit production sustainable horticulture
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