Agriculture contributes nearly about 45% to the net state domestic product and is the main source of income as well as employment in Himachal. About 93% of the state population depend directly upon agriculture.

The main cereals grown in the state are wheat, maize, rice and barley major producers of first three cerals being Kangra, Mandi and Paonta valley of Sirmaur district (to some extent), while barley is mostly cultivated in Shimla. There are huge tracts of land suitable only for growing fruits and now Fruit cultivation is also a budding reason for economic support and development to the state.

Its employment potential is more than the conventional farming and fruit cultivation does not add to the problem of soil erosion. The yield per acre in terms of income is much higher. Apple produces the maximum income. Fruit growing in the state is fetching over Rs.300 crores annually. Special efforts are being made to promote cultivation of crops like olives, figs, hops, mushrooms, flowers, pistachio nuts, sarda melon and saffron. The state is also known as Apple State of India and it earned it.

Though the state is deficient in food grains, it has gained a lot in other spheres of agricultural production such as seed potato, ginger, vegetables, vegetable seeds, mushrooms, chicory seeds, hops, olives and fig. Seed potato is mostly grown in the Shimla, Kullu and Lahaul areas. Land husbandry initiatives such as the Mid-Himalayan Watershed Development Project, which includes the Himachal Pradesh Reforestation Project (HPRP), the world’s largest clean development mechanism (CDM) undertaking, have improved agricultural yields and productivity, and raised rural household incomes.