The two days Regional Workshop on Horticulture, addressing issues related to horticulture with Southern states, Union Territories, and central agencies, commenced today in Kochi.
Priya Ranjan, Joint Secretary (Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, inaugurated the program in the presence of Dr. Prabhat Kumar, Horticulture Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, CDB; Dr. S.K. Singh, Director of the Indian Institute of Horticulture Research and Dr. K.B. Hebbar, Director of CPCRI and Vice Chairman of CDB.
Priya Ranjan, in his inaugural address detailed on the objectives of the workshop and the need for enhancing adoption of the various schemes under MIDH. He stressed on the need for innovation and adoption of modern technologies for the sustained development of the horticulture sector. He emphasised that on need to address issues related to climate change, ensuring availability of quality planting material and ensuring remunerative returns to the farmers. He invited project proposals from the states for enhancing the scalability of the various schemes with the participation of progressive farmers.
Dr. Prabhat Kumar, Horticulture Commissioner and CEO CDB, in his keynote address, stressed on the need for integrating food security with nutritional security in the efforts towards achieving the sustainable development. Horticultural crops have immense potential for carbon sequestration and are more adaptable to climate change. Horticulture sector offers immense prospects for realising the vision of Prime Minister in attaining Amrit Kaal by 2047.
The potential for utilisation of products and by-products of the horticultural crops and the scope for natural farming need to be explored to the benefit of the horticultural farmers. Booklets on coconut products (Hindi), success stories on innovative farmers, inspiring stories of successful entrepreneurs and video film on successful model coconut farm in non-traditional areas were released during the occasion. The launch of Hello Naariyal – the call centre for
Friends of Coconut Tree, the trained manpower for undertaking cultivation and harvesting operations in coconut was also undertaken at the event.
Dr. K.B. Hebbar, Director CPCRI and Vice Chairman CDB, Shri. C.F. Joseph, Adviser (Horticulture), and Dr.S.K. Singh, Director, IIHR spoke during the occasion. The discussions and deliberations proposed during the course of the two day workshop is expected to bring about evolution of strategies for the sustained development of the horticulture sector of the country.
Delegates from various ICAR institutions and Senior Government officials from the nine southern states/UTs and representatives from the various Centre of Excellence are also taking part in the workshop. Dr. Hanumathe Gowda, Chief Coconut Development Officer delivered the welcome address and Deepthi Nair, Director (Marketing), Kochi proposed the vote of thanks. The workshop was hosted by Coconut Development Board.