A one-day programme on skill upgradation and entrepreneurship development for students and farmers on coffee cultivation in Himachal Pradesh was organized today at Ghumarwin. The main objective of the event was to explore the possibilities of large-scale coffee cultivation in Himachal and build on the work already done in this field.
The event was organized by the College of Horticulture and Forestry(COH&F), Neri a constituent college of Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni with support from the National Agricultural Higher Educational Project’s Institutional Development Plan. The event brought together coffee growers, scientists, industry experts and students on a single platform to discuss the scope of coffee cultivation in the state and how the farmers could be given another cash crop which can help to diversify and increase their incomes.
Speaking at the event Ghumarwin MLA Rajesh Dharmani, who was the Chief Guest on the occasion said that some efforts have already been done for coffee cultivation in Himachal and through this event discussions between the different stakeholders are being held to take this work forward for the benefit of the farming community. He said that to promote large-scale coffee plantations, the farmers are being linked with university scientists and industry experts to address all the issues related to coffee cultivation. Dharmani said that the possibilities of coffee-based farmer clusters will also be looked into so that the produce of the farmers can be marketed effectively to get maximum profits for them.
Prof Rajeshwar Singh Chandel, Vice-Chancellor said that the university will provide all the scientific support to the farmers so that coffee cultivation can be increased. Coffee will help in diversification for the farmers. He said that the university will soon establish a demonstration block at the COH&F Neri to carry out research activities and find out the best possible varieties of coffee for different regions in the state. He added that the PG and PhD students of the university will be given research problems on coffee so that research in this field can be strengthened. He informed that a similar event for further discussion on coffee cultivation will be held at the University campus in Solan on Tuesday.
Coffee experts and entrepreneurs from different parts of the country also presented their views and shared details on coffee cultivation in the area. They pointed out that India’s share in the global coffee production was only 3 percent. Out of the total coffee production, around 85 percent is exported, fetching thousands of crores for the country every year.
Sven Vincent Goveas, Priyanka Vas Naik and Aveen Rodrigues gave a detailed presentation on different aspects of coffee cultivation right from climatic conditions, different varieties, harvesting and the different crops which can be grown along with coffee to supplement the income. Dr Arun Bhardwaj, Founder of Happiness Technology, Bangalore shared the different branding strategies which have been adopted by the coffee growers to increase the value of their produce. Earlier, Dr. Sanjeev Chauhan, Director of Research of the university welcomed the guests and gave an overview of the skill upgradation and Entrepreneurship activities carried out by the university under the NAHEP IDP Project. presented the vote of thanks.
The coffee beans of progressive farmers Jeet Ram and Deep Ram were also bought on occasion for processing by the industry experts present on the occasion. The event concluded with a vote of thanks by Dr. Kamal Sharma, Dean COH&F Neri. Dr. Vikram Sharma, former member of the National Coffee board, scientists of the COH&F Neri, officers from the line department, progressive coffee farmers and students of the college attended the event.