Agriculture varsity adopts 500 farmers to increase their financial health – Times of India


DHARAMSHALA: Under a special program, the Agriculture University of Himachal Pradesh situated at Palampur had adopted 500 farmers of a village near Baijnath in Kangra district and has increased their income. University had started ‘Farmer’s First’ program as an experimental project in Dharer area of Baijnath. Income minimum increase remained at 23% while maxim recorded was 33%.

In this project funded by Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), during 2017-18, the production technologies were used on 157.5 hectares in maize, 147.04 in Paddy and 27.47 hectares in wheat. The increase claimed by the varsity experts in these was 23 to 33%.

“Our experts remained on the site with the farmers. There were 23 sites off campus were selected for training and demonstrations. We contacted farmers and asked them to cultivate half of their total land as per the advice of our experts, the results have come for 2018 – 19 that shows that income has increased to 50%” said Ashok Sarial, Vice – Chancellor of the agriculture university.

To increase the income, off season vegetable production was also done in 53.26 hectare of the area. Mushroom cultivation, bee keeping was also done.

“All inputs in the fields that was cultivated with the advice of our experts was funded by varsity only just to demonstrate the farmer that techniques can really help them to grow financially” added Sarial.

He told TOI that 1.5 lakh root slips of Setariagrass were planted in the fields grazed by the animals and milk yield was increased from 1 to 1.5 liter.

“We have recorded the facts to implement these techniques across the state” said Sarial.

Varsity also established 18 poultry units having 50 chicks each.

The farmers that performed well in their fields were also taken on record.

Officials of the varsity have shortlisted the names of progressive farmers of various streams. In poultry Kuldeep Kumar, Shyam Lal and Vikram Kumar. While in rice a female Pinki Devi, Pawana and Saroj shortlisted. For vegetable crops, Pyar Chand, Nirmala Devi and Jeet Ram. For wheat Titra devi and Saroj, for bee keeping Rajinder and Ranjee Das and for mushroom Shailja, Madhu and Anokhi Devi.

University is planning to hold sessions of farmers where these progressive farmers will be called to share their experience and techniques they have used at farms to increase their income. The program is going to conclude in 2020, it was started in 2016-17.

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