Palampur, 8th June, 2012
Mr. G.H. Mir, Minister of Agriculture, Government of Jammu and Kashmir, emphasized the need of coordinated efforts to address the problems of hill agriculture. He was inaugurating ICAR Regional Committee-I Meeting at Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvavidyalaya, Palampur as Chief Guest. Mr. Mir said that as most of the farming in hill sates is rainfed, concerted efforts are required for soil conservation, development of drought resistant crop varieties, quality seed production and farm mechanization.
Prof. V.L. Chopra, former Secretary, DARE and Director General, ICAR, speaking as Guest of Honour, said that eight Regional Committees were constituted to address specialized farm problems of the different agro-climatic regions of the country. For better outcome, these meetings should address the challenges and suggest viable solutions for the concerned regions.
Dr. S. Ayyappan, Secretary, DARE and Director General, ICAR, while delivering key note address, said that this meeting is the first in line of Regional Meeting of ICAR specially focusing the discussions / deliberations for development of hill agriculture in the ensuing 12th Five Year Plan. He emphasized the need of giving more importance to niche area of hilly states like horticulture, protected floriculture cultivation, meat production, agro-forestry, studies on climate change and development of technologies for high, mid and low hill areas. Keeping in view the rich resources of the region, he emphasized on the importance of having germplasm of some of the important crops of the area like saffron, potato, walnut and Basmati rice.
Dr. H.P. Singh, Deputy Director General, Horticulture, ICAR said that there is considerable increase in off-season vegetable cultivation in the region and the ICAR will continue to help the horticulture development in the area.
Dr. S.K. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor of the host University said that this meeting will help in forging an effective liaison and coordination among ICAR institutes, State Agriculture Universities and Departments of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries of the J&K, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh. The Vice-Chancellor hoped that ICAR will continue to provide scientific and technological inputs in enhancing production and productivity for sustainable agriculture and also consistent support to higher education in agriculture.
Dr. P.K. Mishra, Director, Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Dehradun, while proposing Vote of Thanks, also elaborated the importance of meeting in the context of fragile Himalayan ecosystem.
The Chief Guest released new publications and a variety of apple and honoured scientists from SK University of Agriculture Science & Technology of Kashmir, Srinagar with Certificate of Appreciation during the inaugural ceremony.
Farm scientists from the ICAR, Vice-Chancellors from the State Agricultural Universities, Directors of agriculture and allied sectors and senior farm officers from the states of J&K, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh at CSK Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University, Palampur participated in the meeting.
(Source: Central Soil and Water Conservation Research and Training Institute, Dehradun )