Year: 2021 | Month: June | Volume 10 | Issue 2
Sustainability of Vegetable Farming Self-Help Groups in Himachal Pradesh
Farming families in states like Himachal Pradesh face enormous hardship in sustaining livelihood from fragmented small and marginal landholdings. Vegetable farming-based self-help groups have emerged as a significant transformation tool for the rural economy in hills. Now it is possible to address farm problems in a group rather than struggling for individual farms. Vegetable farming-based self-help groups have paved a new path in rural economic development. Self-help group is a small economic venture at the village level. It can be defined as sustainable if it can work for its basic goal of development by meeting out all day to day expenditures without any external aid while creating profit, social upliftment of members and without deterioration to the environment that ultimately brings prosperity in a rural area. Knowing the sustainability of self-help groups helps in planning and executing rural development policies. Various researchers developed various tools to assess the sustainability of self-help groups but these tools do not fit well for all geographical areas with diverse rural communities. Present study was conducted in Himachal Pradesh to assess the sustainability of vegetable farming-based self-help groups. The study reveals that women farmers constitute a major portion of SHG framework, the average size of SHG in Himachal Pradesh was 14, and the majority of the groups had bank linkages. The majority of self-help group members were contributing above ` 100 per/month and generally held group meetings once a month. 80.00 percent of the -help groups were found with above 90 percent attendance in monthly meeting and family problem was a major reason for non-repayment of loan. Self help group capabilities need to be strengthened by more training, village-specific training content, and better financial management for planning group corpus. As a policy intervention, self-help groups require more training on maintaining records and financial management, which can enhance the scope for cross cross-learning between self-help groups where SHGs could learn from the experience of better-performing one.
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