Central Horticultural Experiment Station (ICAR-IIHR), Bhubaneswar organized one day Awareness cum training programme on Horticultural interventions for sustainable livelihood in tribal dominated regions under TSP on World Soil Day at Mohana Block in Gajapati district of Odisha on 5th December 2018. The programme was inaugurated by lighting of lamp by Tribal women representatives, along with the guests and dignitaries Dr. M. R. Dinesh, Director, ICAR-IIHR; Mr. BansidharKhosala, Block Development Officer; Ms. SukhiSabar, Block Chairperson;Ms. B. Adhikari, Deputy Block Chairperson; Mr. N. Nandi, SACAL; Dr. G. C. Acharya, Head, CHES (ICAR-IIHR); Dr. T. S. Aghora, Principal Scientist, ICAR-IIHR and Dr. P. Srinivas, Principal Scientist, CHES (ICAR-IIHR), Bhubaneswar.Tribal troupe sang folk song for welcoming the guests. Dr. G. C. Acharya, Head, CHES (ICAR-IIHR), Bhubaneswar welcomed all the distinguished dignitaries, farmer and other stakeholders participating in the programme. He informed the audience about the research and developmental activities being undertaken by CHES (ICAR-IIHR), Bhubaneswar in Odisha and adjoining states. He also explained the importance of observing the World Soil Day.
Dr. P. Srinivas, Principal Scientist explained in details about the horticulture based interventions like promotion of backyard kitchen gardening in tribal households, commercial cultivation of high value underutilized cucurbits, production of quality planting material through commercial nursery, minimal processing and commercialization of raw jackfruits as ready to cook vegetable, and skill development of tribal folk. He informed the participants that ICAR-IIHR has developed a jackfruit peeler made up of food-grade stainless steel which would open a new avenue for income in the tribal regions. He also highlighted the theme of World soil day “stop soil pollution” by adopting ecofriendly cultivation practices.
Success stories on aforesaid horticultural interventions were narrated by the tribal beneficiaries under the Tribal sub plan. These successful farmers were felicitated by the dignitaries on the dais.
Mr. N. Nandi from SACAL organization based in different blocks of Gajapati district addressed the gathering and assured continued support of SACL in promoting horticultural interventions in the district. Addressing the gathering Dr. Aghora highlighted the importance of vegetable crops in the family nutrition and higher economic returns. He also highlighted the need for adoption of improved vegetable varieties to further enhance the productivity. MrBansidharKhosala, BDO, appreciated the efforts taken by ICAR-IIHR under TSP for bringing improvement in the income levels of tribals of the region. While stressing on the horizontal linkages with ongoing developmental programmes in the block he assured his full support and cooperation for the TSP activities. Deputy block Chairperson Ms. B. Adhikary quoted from religious scriptures to highlight the importance of the conservation and protection of soil. Block Chairperson Ms. SukhiSabar called upon the farmers to adopt the improved technologies to enhance farm income. She motivated the farmers to compulsorily do soil testing in their fields. Speaking on the occasion Dr. M. R. Dinesh, Director, ICAR-IIHR highlighted the scientific instinct and acumen of the tribal people which sustained their existence since ages. He called upon the farmers to adopt improved farm technologies to enhance farm income. He stressed that if tribal farmers adopt better farm technologies while conserving the soil fertility combined with smart marketing strategies, they would be able to double their farm income for sure. During the programme, he handed over the Soil Health cards to some farmers to mark the World Soil Day. Seed kits and farm implements were also distributed to selected farmers by the dignitaries on the dais. The farmers interacted with the resource persons on the selected horticultural technologies. They were much interested in the commercial cultivation of underutilized cucurbits like teasel gourds and Ivy gourds, quality planting material from commercial nursery and minimal processing of jackfruit in new areas. Director, ICAR-IIHR, Head, CHES along with other dignitaries also visited the Commercial nursery set up in Kanteikoli village in Mohana district. They complimented the SHG group members for their efforts for ensuring quality planting material of ICAR-IIHR varieties and other commercial varieties to the tribal farmers of the region.
More than 600 tribal farmers and other stakeholders including more than 250 women from 20 panchayats of two blocks,Mohana and R. Udaygiri, participated in the awareness cum training programme. The programme was covered by local media persons. At the end of the programme Dr. Kundan Kishore, Principal Scientist, CHES (ICAR-IIHR), Bhubaneswar proposed vote of thanks. The programme was coordinated by Dr. P. Srinivas, Principal Scientist with active support from Dr. Kundan Kishore,Principal Scientist, Mr. B.C. Patra, local NGOs and block officials.