The bountiful mountain regions of Uttarakhand, particularly Kedar Valley
in Rudraprayag District are a cornucopia of diverse, high-value
products. With an abundance of niche goods, the region has a comparative
advantage over other regions due to the increasing demand for
high-quality, unique, natural products derived from traditional know-how
by the tourists. Specialty crops and value-added products offer
opportunities for mountain communities to earn higher prices and
increase profits. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, spices, cut flowers and
ornamental foliage are all considered high-value specialty crops that
significantly contribute to the mountain economy. A collective effort is
essential to harness the immense opportunities in spice production in
According to a study organized by AT India in 2008-09, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and large cardamom are less labor intensive, remunerative, and rarely harmed by wild animals. Hence, AT India initiated spice cultivation programme in Rudraprayag, Chamoli, Tehri, Uttarkashi, and Pauri Garhwal. For improving the yield and diversifying livelihoods, a package of practices was introduced by AT India which includes beekeeping, horticultural crops, and livestock in the spice farming system. The package also suggests improving yield through conservation of effective pollinator species.
Over the years, area under organic spice cultivation has increased from initial 258 to 350 ha and average income has been correspondingly increasing. At present, 6,220 women are actively involved in commercial spice cultivation. Assorted organic spice production is reportedly 708 MT per annum. Producer’s income is estimated to be ranged between INR 3,000 to 10,000 per annum.