North Eastern Hill University Hosts Capacity Building Programme on ICAR-IIHR Technologies for Horticultural Crop Production in NEH Region

Date: May 25, 2024

The Department of Horticulture, North Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Tura, in collaboration with the NEHU-Deen Dayal Upadhyay Community College for Skill Development (DDUCCSD), Wahiajer, Jowai, and the ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bengaluru, organized a “Capacity Building Programme on ICAR-IIHR Technologies for the Production of Horticultural Crops in NEH Region” on May 25, 2024, at DDUCCSD, Wahiajer, Jowai. The programme saw the participation of approximately 200 farmers, predominantly women, who each received 50 kg of horticultural inputs.

These inputs, supplied by ICAR-IIHR, included 20 kg of compost, 3 grow bags, 8 kg of microbial consortium, 6 kg of citrus special, 4 kg of vegetable special, 6 kg of banana special, 1 kg of neem soap, and a kit of vegetable seeds. The ICAR-IIHR, a premier horticultural research institute in India, ranks as the number one research institute among ICAR institutes and has developed 354 varieties and 156 technologies across 58 horticultural crops.

The event aimed to disseminate advanced IIHR technologies to farmers in the West Jaintia Hills, promoting sustainable horticultural practices with minimal chemical use. The programme began with a traditional song by Ms. Sunita Shylla and a dance performance by NEHU students. Prof. (Mrs) S.M. Sungoh, Principal, DDUCCSD, Wahiajer, Jowai, welcomed the dignitaries and participants. The programme was chaired by Prof. P.S. Shukla, Vice Chancellor, NEHU, Shillong. Prof. Sanjay K. Singh, Deputy Director General-Horticultural Sciences, ICAR, New Delhi, served as the Chief Guest, and Dr. Prakash Patil, Director, ICAR-IIHR, Bengaluru, was the Guest of Honour. Other notable attendees included Prof. D. Walia (Dean, SHES, NEHU, Shillong), Shri M. B. Tongper (ADC, West Jaintia Hills district), and Shri Sanwatki Laloo (Headman, Wahiajer).

Dr. T. Sakthivel, Principal Scientist at IIHR, detailed the usage of the distributed farm inputs. Shri M.B. Tongper highlighted the significance of organic agriculture and natural farming, emphasizing the potential for G.I. tags beyond the success of Lakadong turmeric and Khasi mandarin.

Dr. Prakash Patil stressed the benefits of using resistant vegetable crops to reduce input costs and encouraged farmers to fully utilize the distributed inputs. Prof. Sanjay K. Singh emphasized the importance of chemical-free farming and motivated farmers to adopt the organic technologies provided by IIHR. He urged farmers to document their success stories to serve as role models for future generations.

Vice-Chancellor of NEHU, Prof. P.S. Shukla praised the event's success and the enthusiastic response from the women farmers. He suggested creating a WhatsApp group for ongoing farmer support and knowledge sharing and proposed sending farmers to IIHR, Bengaluru, for specialized training.

The event concluded with a presentation of mementos to the Hon’ble Vice-Chancellor by the village headman, Shri Sanwatki Laloo, followed by a Farmers’ and Scientists’ Interaction Session where farmers discussed their issues and received on-the-spot solutions from scientists.

The DDUCCSD staff, students, and other guests attended in large numbers, contributing to the event's organization. An exhibition by the Tailoring section students added to the day's activities.