The leading agricultural scientists, horticultural experts, livestock experts, and progressive and innovative farmers of Haryana today participated in an enriching seminar on ‘Prosperity Through Diversification in Agriculture’, held at National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal today.
The seminar was part of the two-day Kisan Divas celebrations organized to mark the 110th birthday of Chaudhary Charan Singh, former Prime Minister and the great visionary from Haryana. It was organized jointly by Haryana Farmers Commission, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), Department of Agriculture, Haryana, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers Right Authority, and Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary Sciences (LLRUVS).
A large number of scientists and experts from diverse fields of agriculture and thousands of farmers participated in the day-long seminar held in the auditorium of NDRI. The recommendations made by the panel of experts at the seminar will be presented to the Haryana Chief Minister Shri Bhupinder Singh Hooda at the Kisan Divas celebrations in the city tomorrow.
Dr RS Paroda, Chairman of Haryana Kisan Ayog, chaired over the inaugural session of the seminar. Dr Paroda said that the extension services for farmers are being strengthened to make them aware of the various government schemes for farm welfare. Dr Paroda stressed on linking farmers to market for prosperity. He also highlighted the significance of strengthening the Kisan Clubs and develop them as knowledge centers so as to share the new knowledge and technologies to large number of farmers.
Dr Paroda indicated about the new agricultural policy of the state which is first of its kind in India. He congratulated the farmers for making Haryana as number one state in the country in terms of wheat productivity which is ever highest (52 qtls/ha) in the history of Indian Agriculture.
Dr Paroda revealed that the Haryana government is considering the formation of a Livestock Mission to maximize the gains from this rich natural resource of the state.
Financial Commissioner Haryana Mr Roshan Lal spoke of the benefit of conservation agriculture technologies like the Happy Seeder to promote water efficiency. He urged farmers not to burn agricultural waste, and also shift to direct seeded rice, zero tillage and also diversification of rice with maize.
Director General Agriculture, Haryana, Mr AK Singh urged farmers to adopt modern technologies like laser leveling, micro irrigation and conservation agriculture to maximize the gains for the farming community, and also for the economy and the environment.
The agricultural luminaries who participated in the seminar included Dr KML Pathak, Deputy Director General (Animal Sciences), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR); Dr Satyavir Singh, Director General Horticulture Haryana; Dr Indu Sharma, Director at the Directorate of Wheat Research; Dr KD Kokate, Deputy Director General Extension (ICAR); Director NDRI Dr AK Srivastava; Dr ML Jat, Senior Agronomist, CIMMYT (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre), Dr RS Dalal, Member Secretary, Haryana Kisan Ayog .
During the inaugural session, there were three major thematic presentations on issues, opportunities and the action plan for diversification in agriculture. Dr ML Jat spoke on crop diversification strategies and action plan for the Haryana farmers. He highlighted that alternate crop management technologies like conservation agriculture and diversification through intensification is the way forward for natural resource conservation and sustainable food security. Dr Arjun Saini of the Department of Horticulture, Haryana, spoke on horticultural diversification, and Dr AK Srivastava spoke on livestock diversification.
During the technical session, there was a dynamic interaction between agricultural scientists and farmers. The progressive farmers of Haryana spoke of their path-breaking methods through which they had been able to break out of the rice-wheat cycle, and also make a fortune. They spoke about their success stories, and how they had been able to conserve natural resources while improving productivity and farm profitability. These farmers shared their experiences and spoke about how they overcame various challenges and inspired thousands of farmers in the region. These innovative farmers urged the farming community to stop the heavy use of urea and pesticides, and instead adopt environment friendly methods to maximize agricultural production.
Dr DK Sharma, Director, Central Soil Salinity Research Institute co-chaired the technical session, and Dr BR Kamboj of CIMMYT was the moderator. Young farmers from diverse districts of Karnal spoke about how they had switched to conservation of natural resources to empower the rural youth. These young farmers shared their field-based knowhow and presented their problems to the agricultural scientists. The various subjects on which the farmers spoke included soil and crop health management, vegetable and fruit farming, floriculture and speciality crops like baby corn, sweet corn, mushroom etc.
In the plenary session, the key recommendations of the various sessions were compiled, along with an open discussion on the key outcomes and action points. The highlights of the various sessions were studied by the experts with a view to solve the problems faced by farmers and enable them to maximize their revenue options.