Challenges and Prospects of Apple Cultivation in Himachal Pradesh
The present endeavour aims to ascertain the current status and recent challenges of apple cultivation in Kinnaur district, Himachal Pradesh and to explore the prospects by framing suitable strategies through quantitative SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) and QSPM (Quantitative Strategic Planning Matrix) analysis. A total of 32 factors encompassing 20 internal [10 Strengths (S) and 10 Weakness (W)] and 12 external [6 Opportunities (O) and 6 Threats (T)] factors have been identified through empiric investigation and interaction with the stakeholders. Internal Factor Evaluation (IFE) and External Factor Evaluation (EFE) matrices have revealed that favourable agro-climatic conditions (S1, 3.60) and prevalence of diseases of the plants (W5, 3.6) are the most prioritised internal strength and weaknesses. At the same time, the establishment of adequate cold storage facilities (O5, 3.6) and recent changes in the prevailing climate (T1, 2.25) comprise the most concerning external opportunities and threats in the area, respectively. The results further reveal that implementing a well-managed gardening system and developing of infrastructural facilities (WT1, 124.7) may become the qualified alternative action plan to cope with the negative determinants. The establishment and expansion of apple orchard-based food processing units and tourism activities (SO2, 95%) may be considered the most suitable positive (SO) strategy to ensure further prosperity of apple production, which has been supported by most of the respondents. Adapting such a strategy will enrich the horticulture economy and promote the sustainable development of apple farming in the district.
Apple Orchard, Internal Factor Evaluation & External Factor Evaluation (IFE & EFE) Matrix, Horticulture, Quantitative Strategic Planning Matrix (QSPM), SWOT Analysis, Alternative Action Strategies, Apple Orchard, IFE and EFE Matrix, Himachal Pradesh, Horticulture, Kinnaur District, India
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