Agriculture based livelihood options and developing alternative livelihoods in the mountains spells out unlimited possibilities considering the wealth of natural resources the IHR is endowed with. There are specific challenges in agriculture faced by mountain communities and with the need to encourage entrepreneurial aspirations in recent times, the following areas have been identified for focus in the next three years:
- Food Security
- Market Linkages
- Skill Development & Social Entrepreneurship
- Community Forestry
Discussions on rural tourism as a source of livelihood in mountain states highlighted the negative externalities emerging this sector. The arguments emerging from the debate point out the need for policies that needs to sustain carrying capacities of mountain regions through proper code of conduct and environmental guidelines. The practices of organic farming in Sikkim and value chain creating by HPMC in Himachal have opened new ideas for the development of agriculture. The State Development Forum of Nagaland is facilitating development of alternate livelihoods. IMI has acted as a catalyst towards the implementation of skill development programs in the Ladakh region of Jammu & Kashmir.
Further, IMI, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), is working to produce a report on the state of agriculture and its allied sectors including value chains across all mountain states in the Indian Himalayan Region.