Governor Shiv Pratap Shukla directed the scientists to come out of their institutes and aware the farmers of natural farming in their fields and assist them to adopt this method completely.
The Governor today visited Regional Horticulture Research and Training Center (RHR&TC) Mashobra near Shimla. This was his first visit to the Centre. He evinced keen interest in the display orchards at the center, which has been developed as a model of natural farming. Impressed by the method developed, the Governor congratulated the scientists associated with Horticulture University and officers of Subhash Palekar Natural Farming Project for their effort in this direction.
While presiding over the interaction program of farmers and scientists on “Natural Farming-Safe Option” at the Center organized by Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni the Governor said that the farmers adopting natural farming today were not only increasing their income but also helping in raising the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the State.
“Apple economy of the State is near about Rs 5000 crore. If anyone is working to make the State a developed state of the country, then it is our farmers and fruit growers”, said Shri Shukla.
The Governor also expressed his desire to visit the fields of the fruit growers. He said that the World Bank is coming forward to help the fruit growers practising natural farming and people from Japan and other countries were also visiting their farms. Even today, the big growers were in a position to provide self-employment. He expressed confidence that Himachal would emerge as a model State in natural farming.
The Governor said that this center has played a pivotal role in horticulture development and meeting the practical problems and basic needs of the temperate fruit industry. This center has proved to be a milestone, especially for the Apple industry, he added. He said that Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has mentioned and praised Himachal several times regarding natural farming and now it was our responsibility to fulfill his expectations.
On the occasion, the Governor and Lady Governor Janaki Shukla also planted saplings in the premises of the Centre.
Earlier, Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni Prof. Rajeshwar Singh Chandel welcomed the Governor. He said that for the first time, such an agricultural system of natural farming has been developed in the country which has been prepared in coordination with farmers and scientists. The natural farming method has been implemented by providing training to the farmers at the center.
On the occasion, Project Director, Naresh Thakur said that under the project model farms of natural farming would be developed in every Panchayat and 100 such villages would be selected this year where every farmer would adopt natural farming. He said that the State Government was also promoting natural farming and for this provision has been made in the budget.
Director Research Dr. Sanjeev Chauhan gave detailed information about various activities of the center.
On the occasion, progressive farmers also participated in the discussion and shared their experiences.