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Himachal Agriculture Minister Urged Scientists To Build Integrated Farming Models for Farmers’ Prosperity

Chintu Das
Chintu Das
Himachal Pradesh Agriculture Minister, Virender Kanwar

Agriculture Minister Virender Kanwar urged agricultural scientists on Tuesday to develop integrated farming models that farmers can use to strengthen their economy.

He was speaking at Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University (HPAU), Palampur, during a state-level farm officials' workshop-cum-farmer scientist interaction.

Kanwar also emphasised the need of seed production in the state so that the state's reliance on imports, which account for 80% of overall requirements, can be decreased.

He said that under the 'Mukhyamantri Paramparagat Beej Sanrakshan Yojana,' efforts were being made to conserve and preserve the seeds of traditional crops, and that farm officers should educate farmers about the proper use of chemicals and fertilizers, as pesticide residue was highest in Himachal Pradesh.

Farm chemicals, according to Kanwar, should only be sold through licensed retailers, and the person in charge should be appropriately trained to avoid the overuse of pesticides in the fields.

The minister also stated that a 25-year plan has been devised in the state to transition from chemical agricultural to natural farming.

He wanted the scientists to recommend crops for the state's mid-hill regions. He also asked for advice on how to prevent wild animals from damaging crops.

According to him, the problem of wandering cattle would be solved by March since several cow sanctuaries in the state will be operational.

Kanwar also mentioned the rising problem of lantana grass and requested that the institution submit a project to eradicate it completely.

The minister emphasised the need of energising Krishi Vigyan Kendras to help farmers tackle their challenges.

Vice-chancellor Prof Harinder Kumar Chaudhary spoke on the HPAU's key research and extension accomplishments, which have led to the state's farmers receiving national accolades in recent years. He stated that Krishi Vigyan Kendras had begun work on producing wheat and mash seeds.

He stated that the endeavor to protect indigenous seeds and register them has been replicated.

He stated that a special effort has been made to revitalize agriculture research in tribal regions, and he emphasized concerns such as climate change readiness, advocating for local and high-end research facilities in HPAU such as the phototron and Shiitake Mushroom Unit.

Director of agriculture NK Dhiman stated that research should be conducted to cut production costs, and natural farming was a viable option.

Because even a little rise in temperature can affect crop yields by 5-10%, development on low-water cropping patterns and temperature-stress-tolerant cultivars should be accelerated, he added.

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