Farmers apprised about high density apple plantation

Apple Day celebrated at UHF Nauni

Farmers apprised about high density apple plantation
Field visit of High density apple plantation.

Nauni (Himachal Pradesh): The Department of Fruit Science of Dr. YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni organised ‘Apple Day’ at the university campus on Wednesday. The event was attended by around 100 orchardists from different clusters of Shimla, Sirmaur and Solan districts formed under the World Bank-funded Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Development Project (HP HDP). The idea behind the event was to apprise and address the queries of farmers who have already raised high-density plantations under this project.
Dr. Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor of the University was the Chief Guest on the occasion. The event began with a field visit to the high-density plantation raised in the year 2016. Various varieties like Jeromine, Red Velox, Red Cap Valtod, Scarlet Spur-II, Super Chief, Gale Gala, Redlum Gala and Auvil Early Fuji grafted on M9 and MM106 rootstocks have been planted in different spacing and training systems.
The scientists of the department addressed the queries of the farmers during the field visit and later a farmer scientist interaction was also held at the Dr. LS Negi auditorium. The scientists of the university addressed the queries of the farmers on nutrient management, insect and pests, diseases and overall orchard management. The farmers were also apprised about the different rootstocks and their characteristics. Information about the official social media platforms where the university was uploading regular technical information related to the cultivation of various fruits and vegetables was shared. 
Dr. DP Sharma, HOD Department of Fruit Science said that the farmers must follow the recommended spray schedules to ensure proper health of the plants and get the maximum output. He also advised the farmers to share correct information with the experts while seeking scientific advice so that the desired results can be obtained.
Director Research Dr. Ravinder Sharma, who is also the nodal officer of HP HDP at the university explained about the trials conducted by the university for the development of Packages of Practices (POP) on high-density apple plantations under HP HDP. He said that the results of the trials being conducted in different agro-climatic conditions to identify the suitable varieties and rootstocks along with ideal plant spacing and canopy management techniques are being included in the POP.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Kaushal said it was great to see such enthusiastic farmers back in the university. He said that the joint efforts of scientists and farmers have ensured that the apple can now be grown at lower elevations.  Dr. Kaushal said that due to the efforts of the university’s scientists 42 MT productivity in four-year high-density plantations. He advised that to improve productivity, the farmers need to adopt scientific production techniques. He said that decisions for choosing the right variety, rootstock along with proper orchard management by following recommended schedules of the university and the department was very important.
Dr. Kaushal urged the farmers to contact the university scientists at the main campus, KVKs and regional stations for their guidance. Talking about planting material, he said that the university is in the process of increasing the number of plants to fulfill the demand of the farmers. He said that the propagation of rootstock is also being undertaken. Farmers Vikram Singh, Yashwant Singh from district Sirmaur, Kaul Ram and Pawan from Shimla, and Mandeep Verma and Ashok Kumar from Solan were honoured by the University for doing commendable work in high-density apple plantations. Dr. Divender Gupta, Director Extension Education, Dr. Anju Dhiman, Dean Horticulture, Registrar Prashant Sirkek along with all the heads of departments and scientists attended the event.