Besides, faculty for carrying out extension jobs in the Directorate of Extension Education at the main campus, all the faculty members carry out extension work in addition to teaching and research activities. The extension programs are generally need based and problem oriented and are designed to help the farmers / orchardists. For the identification of problems relevant to the farming situations and prioritizing the extension programs, the feedback comes from interactions with farmers, and the deliberations of the meeting of Zonal Research & Extension Advisory Council and the Extension Council of the university.
The Directorate at the main campus carry out transfer of technology programs through its three separate wings :
The University has developed improved technologies in the fields of fruits, vegetables flower,postharvest technology and seed production, mushroom cultivation, be-keeping, forestry, agro-forestry and medicinal and aromatic plants. The technologies thus generated by the university are transferred to the farmers of different areas of the state by organizing national, regional and state level workshops, various institutional and spot training programs.
National and Regional Level workshops and seminars on fruits, vegetable cultivation flower growing, post harvest technology and seed production, mushroom cultivation, beekeeping, forestry and medicinal plants are organized to discuss latest research findings, thus, orienting and educating both the scientists and field officers of the Department of Horticulture, Agriculture, Forest Farming and Conservation and other line departments for further transfer of technology to the orchardists / farmers of different agro-climatic zones of the State through training/seminars.
National Advance Training Centre which has been renamed as Centre of Excellence for training is entirely financed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, Wasteland Development Board and other National organizations. Sponsored candidates for different trainings are provided free boarding and lodging facilities as per norms given by the funding agencies.
The State level workshops are organized almost every year on vegetable crops, Agroforestry and fruit crops including beekeeping, floriculture, mushroom cultivation and medicinal plants. In such workshops the package of practices containing latest technologies and recommendations are finalized after a detailed discussion among the scientists and the extension officers of the Department of Horticulture, Agriculture and Forests. The recommendations are printed in Hindi and English in the form of a book for the benefit of extension workers and progressive farmers / orchardists.
In order to make proper utilization of human resources for the rapid transfer of technology to the ultimate users, the development of professional competence through various training programs has become a necessary input in the wake of many national and state development programs initiated in the country like National Programs in Extension and Social Forestry and the Technical Backup Support Unit for non conventional energy sources. The University has been organizing various training programs at the National / State level for officers, subject matter specialists and farmers/ fruit growers of the state through following training units, projects and different centres of the Directorate:
i) Centre of Excellence in Training for Temperate Horticulture and Agroforestry (CET):
Keeping in view the vast potential of temperate horticulture and Agroforestry in the state, the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India has established a Advanced Training Centre in Temperate Horticulture and Forestry at the university campus. This project started functioning during the year 1992 and has facilities to provide advanced training in the fields of temperate horticulture and forestry to the staff of SAUs and the developmental departments of the country to sharpen their knowledge and skill. The jurisdiction of this centre is the entire state of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttranchal, North Eastern states and hilly parts of other states where there are great potential for the temperate horticulture and forestry.
ii) Regional Centre of National Afforestation and Eco-development Board:
Regional Centre of National Afforestation and Eco-development Board has been established in the university of Horticulture and Forestry, Solan with the objective of helping the National Afforestation and Eco-development Board (NAEB) in project formulation and implementation, monitoring, evaluation and training aspects which are essential support requirements for the success of Social Forestry and Wasteland Development Programs. The main functions assigned to the centre are:
- To assist the state Forest Department/State Forest Corporation in formulation of the project for wasteland development and Afforestation activities with people's participation.
- To assist the NAEB in monitoring the implementation of the programs and to assist the involved state(s) and NAEB in its evaluation.
- To assist the NAEB in monitoring the implementation of the programs and to assist the involved states by organizing workshops for departmental functionaries, Non-Govt. Organizations (NGOs) and public institutions.
- To undertake problem specific studies relevant to Afforestation and wasteland development programs.
- To organize short duration training management programs for official representatives, NGOs and farmers on the subjects relevant to the programs.
iii) Operational Project in Agroforestry:
Agroforestry training of 3-4 days duration are being organized for the farmers and NGOs of the state under ORP Project sponsored by the Ministry of Forests and Environment, Government of India The on farm research trials are also conducted in different agro-climatic zones of the state under this project. This project is being implemented in collaboration with the Department of Silviculture and Agroforestry of the university.
iv) Technical Backup Unit of Non-Conventional Energy Sources:
Various training programs for officers and farmers are conducted at different locations under ORP scheme on the use of non-conventional energy sources, new improved pottery, use of smokeless chulhas, solar drier, solar cookers and other renewable energy sources. The project has been abandoned by the ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources but the unit has been rendering expertise in the designing and fabrication of improved chullahs for cold desert area of Ladhak (J & K).
v) Integrated Watershed Development Project for Hills (Kandi areas):
Institutional workshop/trainings at the main campus, regional stations are being organized for the officers, field functionaries and farmers of different watersheds/micro watersheds already identified in Kandi area of Sirmour, Solan, Una and Kangra districts. Field trainings in kharif and Rabi seasons are also organized in collaboration with Project Officers and field functionaries of the concerned departments.
vi) National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas (NWDPRA):
Institutional and location specific workshop-cum-trainings are also organized both at the main campus and regional research stations of the university in collaboration with the State Department of Agriculture for imparting trainings to the field officers and field functionaries and farmers on technology transfer under the project for rainfed areas of Solan, Shimla, Kullu, Chamba and Kinnaur districts.
Training programs in remaining districts falling in the agro-climatic zone I and II are organized by CSKHPKV, Palampur in collaboration with scientists of Regional Research Stations of Parmar university.
vii) Integrated Watershed Development Project under Rural Development Project:
This program has been sponsored by Ministry of Forestry and Environment for the development of wastelands by selecting different watersheds under District Rural Development Agency, in different districts of the state in collaboration with State Department of Rural Development. The University has been collaborating for the development of the watersheds by organizing institutional and location specific trainings, demonstrations, exhibitions diagnostic and farm advisory services in these watersheds identified in different districts by the respective District Rural Development Agency.
viii) Drought Prone Area Project (DPAP) in
(Kunihar, Dharampur and Barog of Solan District):
The drought Prone Areas Program (DPAP) has been started in Kunihar and Dharampur blocks of Solan district for the development of different identified watersheds in the blocks. This program is being implemented in collaboration with the District Rural Development Agency and Deputy Commissioner of the district. University envisages to impart trainings and organize diagnostic visits and field demonstrations in these areas. Alikhad and Bambira Khad, both in Kunihar Block, have been identified as treatment sites for development of these watersheds.
ix) Training cum Demonstration on Vermi-compost Technology:
This project has been sponsored by the Department of Biotechnology, Government of Himachal Pradesh for the purpose of giving training and demonstration on vermi-compost technology to the farmers of the state. The university scientists are imparting training to the farmers of Solan, Shimla, Hamirpur and Kinnaur districts and to started with Kandaghat, Mashobra, Rohru, Bhota and Sharbo have been selected in the first phase of the project.
x) National Agriculture Technology Project
(Innovation in Technology Dissemination Component of NATP):
Shimla district of the state has been covered under NATP as one of the six pilot districts of the country to initiate this scheme on pilot basis. Regional Horticulture Research Station, Mashobra and KVK Rohru have been identified for generation of appropriate technology and organizing training for transfer of technology, through ATMA (Agriculture Technology Management Agency) which is an autonomous registered society for management of this program and SAMITI established at Mashobra under Department of Agriculture, Government of Himachal Pradesh. In the second phase the project has been extended to Hamirpur, Kangra and Bilaspur districts of the state.
xi) Capsule course on Agri-clinic and Agri-business
The challenging task of orientation for job producers under 'Agri-clinic and agribusiness' scheme is facilitated by ambitious yet pragmatic scheme proposed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India and coordinated by SFAC, MANAGE and financed by NABARD. Under the scheme two months capsule course on agri-clinic and agri-business was organized by the university w.e.f. 29 April to 28 June, 2003 for the unemployed agricultural graduates of th state to promote self-employment opportunities. Other such programmes are in the offing in near future.
i) Practical training of 2-7 days duration:
Trainings on cultivation of fruits, nursery management, cultivation of mushrooms, beekeeping, vegetable cultivation, vegetable seed production, floriculture, postharvest handling and techniques for preservation of fruits and vegetable at the main campus and regional research stations are being organized. These training courses have proved to be of great utility to the orchardists and farmers. The objective of these trainings is to build professional competency among the participating farmers and farm women on the subjects of horticulture/forestry and allied disciplines. In each camp 20-25 persons are provided training in each camp.
Interested orchardists, vegetable growers, beekeepers, mushroom growers from Himachal Pradesh who intend to join any of these trainings should send their applications to the Director of Extension Education, Dr Y S Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan - 173 230, whereby they must mention their field of interest for training.
ii) Location Specific Trainings:
One or two days location specific trainings are being organized in the potential belts of Horticulture and Forestry all over the state to educate the farmers regarding improved technical know-how and for solving their problems related to production, plant protection, nutritional disorders and other orchard and farm management problems.
iii) Collaborative Trainings:
Various training programs which are organized by the State Department of Horticulture/ Agriculture, Nehru Yuvak Kenderas, Nationalized Banks, Regional Support Unit, NGO's, DRDA and various corporations etc. are also being attended to at the institutional and field levels by scientists of the university.
Vocational training courses (Gardeners Training Course) on Horticulture Management is run by the Directorate of Extension Education through Regional Horticulture Research Stations at Jachh, Bajaura, Mashobra, Sharbo, Kotkhai and Dhaulakuan and KVK Chamba. This course is meant for imparting training in horticulture to youths from different districts of Himachal Pradesh involved in orchard management. Duration of the training is one year and about 20 seats are available every year for this course at each centre. The youths having matriculate qualification with minimum second divisions and belonging to rural background are eligible for this training. Admission notice is published in the leading newspapers for submission of application for the course.
Horticulture supervisors and entrepreneurs are enrolled in Horticulture trainings sponsored by Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India under Human Resource Development in Horticulture. The ministry has identified this university as one of the nodal agencies for the organizing horticulture supervisor and entrepreneurs course in horticulture of one year and 3 months respectively for the rural youths belonging to the entire temperate region of the country. The aim of this vocational training program is to generate self employment to the rural youths by improving their knowledge, skill and attitude for taking up horticulture pursuits to earn their livelihood as well as to act as satellite progressive farmers in their respective areas.
Organization of horticulture and forestry melas and days (at the main campus/research stations) for educating the rural masses in respect of improved techniques for fruit growing, vegetable growing, seed production, flowers, mushrooms, medicinal plants and taking up plantations of agroforestry plants on the government, community and private lands has become an important activity. The salient features of the melas and days are exhibition, competitions of horticulture and forestry produce, discussions and question-answer session relating to improved technology for solving farmers problems. These melas and days are serving as effective media for communication of technology to the farmers of the Pradesh. In addition, Van Mahotsava, World Environment Day, World Forestry Day are organized every year.
To build up an institutionalized system of providing direct feedback from farmers to the scientists about their problems and constraints in Agriculture/Horticulture/Forestry and to communicate relevant technological achievement to the farming community, a program on agro climatic zones basis known as farmers-scientists interaction program has been initiated which provides a forum for on the spot remedial measures thereafter.
The planners, policy makers, departmental officers, field functionaries, orchardist and farmers both from Himachal Pradesh as well as other states have been visiting the university for updating their technical know-how in horticulture and forestry. Guided visits are conducted for them by the Directorate of Extension Education which has been proved a quite effective mechanism to educate different types of visitors coming to the university campus.
Communication wing of the Directorate Of Extension Education serves through creation of museums, organization of exhibitions, radio talks, doordarshan programs, clinical and farm advisory services, publication of literature, preparation of video and audio cassettes and their sale from a single window system i.e. ATIC on innovative technologies. This updates the technical know-how of the scientists, field officers and functionaries, NGOs and farmers at different operational levels for the adoption of the improved technology.
University has been organizing exhibitions on horticulture, forestry and allied fields during national and state level fairs e.g. national agricultural fairs, Lavi fair at Reckong Peo and Rampur, Minjar fair at Chamba, Dussehra fair at Kullu, Shoolini fair at Solan, Shivratri mela at Mandi & Renuka fair at Sirmour district. Advisory and clinical guidance services are also rendered to the visiting farmers with a view to increase their crop production. In addition literature on agriculture and horticulture, seed and planting material is distributed to the farmers during these fairs which go a long way in improving economy of farmers of the state of Himachal Pradesh.
Directorate of Extension Education in collaboration with various departments of the University and All India Radio, Shimla organizes:
- Radio talks of the university experts on various horticultural and forestry aspects from time to time.
- Farm Radio School of one year duration on various horticulture & forestry crops.
- Courier service is rendered to solve problems of the farmers through correspondence and other radio programs.
The above arrangement through AIR and Doordarshan helps the university in communicating technology to the farmers of distant, difficult and remote areas of the state where extension workers and scientists are not able to reach and interact with the farmers.
A photographic cell has been established at the main campus of the university through which all photographic work of the university including slide preparations is carried out to cater to the needs of the research workers, students and extension workers. Video films of beta cam and VHS are also prepared on various themes for educating and transfer of technology purposes at the doorsteps of the farmers.
Directorate of Extension Education is publishing popular literature for the benefit of farmers/ orchardists and other interested agro-forestry entrepreneurs on various horticultural, forestry and allied themes, which serves as a guding force to the farmers and field functionaries in the far flung areas of the state.
Latest concept of ATIC introduced by ICAR is beneficial for the farmers to get farm services produce and products from single window. This centre is located in the communication centre building which fulfils the objectives by providing the latest information about the institution and makes available the improved technologies along with quality planting material and seeds and products of the university including literature, audio video cassettes etc. to the farming communities and other clientele. This also strengthens the linkages between university scientists, farmers, orchardists, agro-based industries, concerned line department and supporting organizations. It also provides consultancy, diagnostic and advisory services to the farmers, orchardists, foresters and all concerned visitors to the centre with their problems related to production, plant protection, storage and marketing etc. Further this also helps in getting feedback from the ultimate users about the impact of the technologies generated. This also generates resources through sale of the technology and material of the university. It is accelerating the pace of technology dissemination and its final adoption by the farmers, orchardists through a single window system.
The University has started Farmers' Telephone Help line on telephone No. 01792-252426 w.e.f 6th August 2001. The Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, New Delhi has established Kisan Call Centre (KCC) level-II at our university. The farmers' quaries / problems are addresses to our KCC, Level-II by the KCC Level-I functionaries, if they are not able to address farmers' problems. The farmers can redress their problem through telephone number 01792-252822. The farmers' problems / quaries need to be addresses winthin 72 hours.
The Directorate of Extension Education provides the farm advisory and clinical services though its main campus and regional stations/KVKs:
Advisory services pertaining to horticulture, forestry and allied fields are rendered to the farmers / orchardists at the main campus, regional research stations, KVKs and sub-stations. These serve good purpose of guiding the farmers and orchardists. Besides problems of the farmers are sorted out on the spot when scientists visits area falling in different micro-climatic situations during diagnostic and field visits.
Oilseed/ pulse demonstration projects of ICAR/TOT centres has been initiated with a view to demonstrate latest technology to the farmers for increasing the production of oilseeds and pulses for increasing the production of oil seeds and pulses in the country. Different oilseed crops covered under this program are groundnut, soybean, sunflower, mustard, toria, gobhi sarson, linseed, sesamum etc. The program is in operation at Solan, Bajaura, Jachh, Sharbo and Chamba centres of the university. Besides newly developed verities and technologies are tested at different centres of the university located in different agro-climatic conditions.
A number of villages in different agro-climatic situations have been adopted near the campus, regional stations & KVKs for solving problems of the farmers related to horticulture and forestry and to organize demonstration trials, farmer interactions and consultation meetings. It is serving as a good method for the dissemination of information technology in the selected villages for solving the problems of the people and increasing their production.
University scientists are deputed along with officers from other departments from time to time as members of the diagnostic teams for visiting the problematic areas of the orchardists / farmers so as to diagnose the problems and suggest immediate remedial measures and also to the planners, policy makers or other concerned agencies.
In order to assess and refine the impact of technology already adopted in different socio-economic and micro agro-climatic situations on the basis of sharing/integration of mutual experiences of farmers, scientists and field functionaries, the directorate of Extension Education has formulated an action plan for the adopted blocks of Kandaghat in Solan district and Theog in Shimla district under an ICAR sponsored pilot project on "Technology Assessment and Refinement through Institution- Village Linkage Program". Under this project 500 families in each block have been identified. Various technological modules for different categories of production systems have been suggested after studying agro-ecosystem and socio-economic conditions through Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) Technique. The project is in operation since 1995-96.