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HP agri varsity to step up work under JICA project

Chairing the meeting, Vice Chancellor of the varsity, Professor HK Chaudhary said that the university will work for crop diversification to increase the farm income

Statesman News Service | Shimla |

A meeting to review the Shiitake Cultivation and Training Centre (SCTC) and other Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-funded projects was held at CSK HP Agriculture University, Palampur.

Chairing the meeting, Vice Chancellor of the varsity, Professor HK Chaudhary said that the university will work for crop diversification to increase the farm income.He said that some important components of the JICA project for the University like SCTC worth more than Rs four crore and ‘creation of infrastructure for seed production of vegetables and other crops’ worth Rs 10 crore will be highly beneficial to the farming community of Himachal Pradesh.

He said that 125 farmers from all over the state will be trained per year in Shiitake cultivation. Since this was the only edible mushroom being used for medicinal purposes like curing cancer, AIDS, etc, the farmers will be getting highly remunerative prices.

The Vice-Chancellor asked JICA officers and the University scientists to highlight the nutritive value of Shiitake mushroom among farmers.

The Vice-Chancellor directed scientists to explore the feasibility of providing irrigation to the project on vegetable seed production from bore wells in the project area covering more than 70-hectare area in the University.

He told that a hi-tech centre has been proposed as another component of JICA project having hi-tech poly houses and cold storage facilities for off season fruits and vegetables.

He asked the scientists to prepare concept notes on the researchable issues on the real farm problems like insectpest and disease management in vegetable crops and whitefly and soil-borne diseases. Prof Chaudhary asked JICA officers to include garlic and black cumin (kalazira) in the project to facilitate concerned farmers of the state

Dr. JC Rana, Chief Project Director, HP Crop Diversification Project (HPCDP), JICA expressed his satisfaction with the progress of construction work at SCTC. He said that the second phase of the project was likely to start in May 2021 with an emphasis on irrigation, marketing and post-harvest management.

Dr. Mandeep Sharma, Director of Research and Dr. YP Thakur, Director Extension Education, Er Vikas Sood, Estate Officer and University scientists also expressed their views.

Dr. V. K. Sharma, Project Director, HPCDP JICA, Dr. K. C. Azad, Deputy Project Director HPCDP JICA and some other officers from JICA and scientists from the University attended the meeting.