Himachal Pradesh with diverse agro-climatic zones from temperate to subtropical, and high altitude cold deserts has a vast potential for cultivation of a wide range of agricultural, horticultural and forestry crops. For improving production and productivity of these crops, the university is actively engaged in human resource development, and generation of eco-region specific technologies for ensuring remunerative returns to the farming community.
To promote horticulture, biotechnology and forestry in the subtropical areas of Himachal Pradesh, the college of Horticulture and Forestry, Neri, Hamirpur was established as the third constituent college of the University with the mandate of imparting quality undergraduate and postgraduate teaching along with improvement in research facilities for meeting the demands of growing population for safe and nutritionally rich food under the changing climatic scenario.
Since the start of this college in 2011, as many as 597 students in B.Sc. (Hons) Horticulture, B.Sc. (Hons) Forestry and B.Sc. (Hons) Biotechnology have been enrolled. Till date, 234 students have passed out under the horticulture and biotechnology streams and as many as 47 students have qualified JRF in the Academic Sessions 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17. The students of this college also qualified and got admissions in reputed institutions for higher learning like State McGill University Canada, IIT Mumbai, BHU Varanasi, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, GKVK Bengaluru, Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology Udaipur and Assam Agriculture University, Jorhat.
The College of Horticulture and Forestry Neri has strength of 35 faculty members engaged in teaching, research and extension education activities. Need based guest faculty is also angaged in each semester for teaching specific courses. The college has adopted IV Deans’ committee recommendations of ICAR in letter and spirits for B.Sc. (Hons) Horticulture, B.Sc. (Hons) Biotechnology and B.Sc. (Hons) Forestry. As per V Deans’ committee recommendations, the nomenclature of B.Sc. (Hons) Biotechnology course has been changed to B.Tech. Biotechnology. For strengthening PG teaching and research, 13 new departments viz. Fruit Science, Vegetable Science, Floriculture & Landscape Architecture, Food Science & Technology, Entomology, Plant Pathology, Biotechnology, Silviculture & Agro-forestry, Tree Improvement & Genetic Resources, Forest Products, Soil Science, Social Science and Basic Science have been restructured.
Commercial Horticulture and Mushroom Cultivation and two new Experiential Learning modules in Bee keeping and processing of fruits and vegetables for value addition have been introduced from academic session 2017-18 for B.Sc. (Hons) Horticulture. Under B.Sc. (Hons) Forestry degree programme three Experiential Learning Programmes in Production and Marketing of high value forest produce, Raising quality planting material and Apiculture / sericulture have been introduced. For B Tech. Biotechnology students, plant Biotechnology has been introduced as ELP module. The students of this college have also excelled in sports and co-curricular activities by representing the country in Asian Winter Games, Japan, and World Kickboxing Championship, Scotland (UK).
Thus, College of Horticulture and Forestry at Neri envisioning the needs of mountain horticulture, forestry and allied sciences to its inhabitants and the emerging young India, dedicates itself to the nation with a clear vision and objectives.
The College of Horticulture is headed by the Dean, who provides leadership for overall functioning of the college. Besides implementing the educational programmes in the college, the Dean also coordinates with the Director of Research, Director of Extension Education and other Statutory Officers of the University in conducting the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, student research and other activities related to students in the best interest of the University.