The scientists must ensure that the research done in the laboratories of Universities and various other institutions must be transferred to the fields to benefit the farmers and horticulturists of the State. This was stated by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while presiding over the 12th Biennial National Krishi Vigyan Kendra Conference at Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni in Solan district today. As many as 731 Krishi Vigyan Kendras from all over the country and more than thousand scientists and farmers from different States are participating in this two day event on ‘Natural Farming and Other Sustainable Farming’ techniques.
Chief Minister said that the State of Himachal Pradesh and farmers of the State were hard-working and were ahead of other States of the country in adopting new technologies. He also appreciated the efforts of the former Governor of the State and present Governor of Gujarat Acharya Devvrat, in promoting natural farming in the State. He said that excessive use of chemical fertilizers was very harmful. Within three months of coming to power, the present Government started ‘Prakritik Kheti Khushal Kisan Yojana’ in the State for the long term welfare of the farmers and made a budget provision of Rs. 25 crore for promotion of natural farming and today about over 1.71 lakh farmers have adopted natural farming in the State, he added.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also appreciated the efforts of Himachal Pradesh in promoting natural farming on various platforms. He said that the Union Government also made special provision in the Union Budget for promoting natural farming in the whole country. He said that excessive use of chemical fertilizers have reduced the production power of the soil, which was a matter of concern. “We are working to make Himachal Pradesh chemical free in farming sector in a phased manner and are moving towards making the State a natural farming State in the coming 15 years’’, he added.
Chief Minister said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has envisioned doubling the farmer’s income by the end of this year. He said that Prime Minister has also stressed on crop diversification only then the income of the farmer’s could be increased. He said that even during the corona pandemic, the agriculture economy gave big support to the economy of the country. He said that due to the adoption of advanced farming technologies and tireless efforts of the scientists of this University, today the agriculture, horticulture and vegetable production by the farmers was contributing about Rs. 10,000 crore to the GDP of the State. He said that the State Government would also endeavour to provide better marketing facilities to the farmers to sell their natural products.
He urged the scientists of the University to help the farmers and horticulturists of the State by continuously guiding them regarding improved varieties of seeds and planting material given from time to time by this university. He also appreciated the dedicated efforts of this University for the welfare of the farming community apart from excellence in higher education and urged the university administration to accelerate their research in the field of fruit-vegetable and sustainable farming so that farmers and gardeners could be benefitted.
He expressed hope that this two-day long national conference would provide an opportunity to the scientists to ponder over the future of agriculture and horticulture in India and also about emerging technologies in this field.
Governor of Gujarat Acharya Devvrat while delivering his address on Natural Farming appreciated the efforts of the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur in promoting natural farming in the State. He said that the organic carbon of soil in India was 2.5 when the first Green revolution was initiated in India which has now reduced to 0.5 or even less. He said that this was a matter of concern. He said that natural farming was today the need of the hour as this would not only improve the soil health, but also increase farm production, thereby improving the economy of the farmers.
Acharya Devvrat also shared his personal experiences regarding natural farming with the scientists on the occasion.
The Governor and Chief Minister also released various publications brought out by the scientists of ICAR and various Universities.
A short film “Prakriti’ on Natural farming was screened on the occasion.
Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narender Singh Tomar, while addressing the event virtually from New Delhi said that India has emerged as Frontrunner country in the world in matter of development. He said that it was the need of the hour to carry out research held in labs to the fields of the farmers. He said that it was the duty of the scientists and farmers to make the nation self-reliant in food grain production. He said that in olden times, there was minimal use of fertilizers, which has increased manifold. He said that it was essential to increase maximum use of technology to increase production, but at the same time minimize use of chemical fertilizers.
Union Minister of State Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Kailash Chaudhary said that the record production of cereals, millets, oilseeds, fruits, cotton, sugarcane etc. was result of hard work and dedication of the farmers of the country, besides effective research carried out by the scientists of the country. He said that efforts must be made to make India self-dependent in matters of food production.
Director of ICAR, Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra while making the opening address said that ICAR has today emerged as a symbol of trust for the farmers of the country. He said that even during the pandemic the agriculture production of the farmers increased and credit of this goes to the farmers of the country and proper research and guidance of the ICAR. He also laid stress on sustainable farming for strengthening the economy of the farmers adding that the two day brainstorming session was an endeavour in this direction.
Deputy Director General, Extension Education, ICAR Dr. A.K. Singh welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignitaries present on the occasion. He also detailed various achievements and activities initiated by the ICAR throughout the country. He said that he also made a detailed presentation on the various achievements and activities of ICAR.
Vice Chancellor, Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Prof. Rajeshwar Singh Chandel presented vote of thanks.
Agriculture Minister Virender Kanwar, Secretary Agriculture Rakesh Kanwar, Vice Chancellors of various Universities, scientists, farmers adopting natural farming were present on the occasion.