Cropping pattern in the Himalayan region of India has undergone a significant change in the recent past. Introduction of horticultural crops of vegetables, fruits and flowers have led to more intensive agriculture. Such a change, resulting in higher incomes and improvements of the overall living conditions has, however, been accompanied with increased income risk. This emphasises a need for proper analysis of the cropping pattern, at an appropriate scale, such as, a micro watershed. This was achieved by constructing a dynamic non-linear programming model incorporating appropriate objective function, constraints and crop and livestock activity budgets along with risk component present in the gross returns. The model was then solved under alternate policy scenarios by using General Algebraic Modelling Systems (GAMS) for next 20 years. The optimum cropping plans were then compared with each other and with the existing plan. Tomato and carnation are the preferred crops, if the sole objective is profit maximization. Optimum plan with risk consideration was also assessed by fixing the variance in gross returns at the current level. It reduced the area under tomato in rainy season by growing capsicum and beans. Similarly, peas replaced tomato in winter season and chrysanthemum replaced carnation. By comparing it with the existing plan, it can be inferred that the people are more considerate to risk than the profits. The profits and risks from floriculture are relatively very high as compared to other crops. By removing constraints in credit availability, irrigation facilities, transportation and market yards, large scale production of vegetables and flowers can help in raising the income level.


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