CSKHPAU to fill up vacant positions of scientists in tribal areas of the State: Prof A.K.Sarial

Prof Ashok Kumar Sarial, Vice-Chancellor, CSK H.P. Agriculture University has said that vacant positions of scientists and technical staff at University research stations and Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVK) situated in tribal areas of the State will be filled up with the consent of State government to strengthen the scientific activities in these areas. As chairman, he was addressing the members of Scientific Advisory Committee of Krishi Vigyan Kendra Kukumseri in Lahaul & Spiti on 21 September.

The Vice-Chancellor said that the farmers of this district were very hard working as despite short duration of cropping season and adverse weather conditions they were growing and providing off-season vegetables to the plains. Some of the innovative farmers have started growing exotic vegetables exclusively for the top notch hotels in Delhi and other areas. He said that with the sincere efforts of his university, the farmers have started taking two crops in short duration of cropping season. Prof Sarial said that since the farmers were shifting from growing peas and other vegetables to cauliflower and exotic vegetables exclusively so there was need to conduct research on the varieties of lettuce, broccoli, red cabbage and such other exotic vegetables with specific focus on agronomical, disease management and integrated nutrient management aspects, etc. He also underlined the importance of growing vegetable seedlings in poly-tunnels so as to make available the seedlings early in the crop season in April. The Vice-Chancellor told that Lahaul & Spiti topped the State in term of consumption of minimum chemical nutrients corresponding to the total geographical area. He directed the scientists to gear up research on finding organic substitutes to chemical fertilizers, insecticides and pesticides to enhance value of produce of all crops and fruits grown in the district. He asked the farmers to take full advantage of university facilities for their crop and animal husbandry related issues. Dr.P.K.Mehta, Director of Extension Education told that the university was conducting special trainings for the farmers of tribal areas and the focus was on farm ladies and young farmers. The farmers will be trained in integrated insect- pest management, integrated nutrient management, etc and farm ladies and young farmers will be provided vocational trainings on mushroom cultivation, knitting and embroidery, scientific pruning of apple trees, etc as they have adequate time in winters. He also elaborated about various extension education activities of the university. Dr.S.S.Kanwar, Director of Research, said that the university will work for the development of superior high yielding varieties of crops and vegetable crops and will standardize production technology. He said that researchable issues of this district will get priority. The university was working on the quality seed production of French bean, rajmash, potato ,etc which will be further strengthened to increase crop productivity .

Dr.Rajesh Uppal, Programme Coordinator, KVK, Kukumseri presented achievements of KVK and proposed action plan for next year. District level officers from the L&S and some progressive farmer-members also actively participated in the deliberations. Dr.Hirday Paul Singh, Jt. Director (Information & Public Relations) was also present on the occasion.The Vice-Chancellor also distributed improved farm tools, developed by RRS, Kukumseri to some progressive farmers of the area. Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor also visited experimental farm of KVK and Regional Research Station and interacted with staff. Dr.B.S.Mankotia, Associate Director, RRS conducted the visit of Vice-Chancellor. On way to Kukumseri, the Vice-Chancellor also held a joint meeting with scientists of KVK and RRS, Bajaura on 17 September and sought details about the on-going activities. He also visited experimental farms on 18 September where Dr R.S.Jamwal, Associate Director, RRS and Dr.S.K.Thakur, Programme Coordinator, KVK conducted the visit of Vice-Chancellor and detailed about the experiments, etc. Dr.S.S.Kanwar, Director of Research and Dr.P.K.Mehta, Director of Extension Education were also present during meeting and the field visit.