Scientists urged to integrate indigenous crops with apple

The 18th Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) meeting of Krishi Vigyan Kendra(KVK) Kinnaur was held on 30 October. The meeting was chaired by Prof. Rajeshwar Singh Chandel, Vice-Chancellor, Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni who attended the meeting virtually. The meeting was conducted to lay the roadmap of activities to be undertaken by the KVK in the coming year. Addressing the members, Prof Rajeshwar Singh Chandel said the farmers of the area were very receptive to new knowledge and technology. Speaking on the importance of crop intensification and diversification, Prof. Chandel stressed on the need to integrate indigenous varieties of millets which can be incorporated with apple cultivation. He added that exposure visits to progressive farmer's fields must be planned and the KVK must develop natural farming models in different areas which are easily approachable by road.


Director of Extension Education Dr. Inder Dev briefed about the extension activities of the university. He suggested that the impact analysis of different initiatives of the KVK must be done and also the positive outcomes must be included in the Packages of Practices released by the university. He also lauded the initiative of the KVK to establish high-density apple plantations research trials on seedling rootstock at different altitudes ranging from 1800 to 3600 meters above sea level. He urged the scientists to regularly record scientific data from these trials.

Dr. Rajesh Rana, Principal Scientist ICAR ATARI Zone-I suggested demonstrations for showcasing drone usage in agricultural practices. He also proposed a Custom hiring center for advanced agricultural equipment. Cross-learning programmes with different KVKs of the country and joint efforts with line departments were also proposed by him. Dr. Alok Kumar from Central Potato Research Institute Shimla suggested establishing front-line demonstrations on potato. Members were of the view that efforts must be made for sustainable development and economic empowerment of women. They also appreciated the efforts of the KVK over the years for the income enhancement of the farmers.

Earlier, Dr. Ashok Thakur, KVK Coordinator presented the progress report of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra and the activities planned for the coming year. He informed how the station has effectively demonstrated the benefits of canopy management in high-density apple management in improving crop quality and productivity. Dr. Thakur also explained how the station has introduced intercropping with high-value vegetables to tackle apple monoculture.

The members opined that to promote agriculture as a career choice the KVK must try to reach schoolchildren and youngsters with innovative programmes. The officials of the line departments sought the support of KVK in the capacity building of extension personnel.