Farmers urged to adopt natural farming in apple

Kisan Mela organised at KVK Shimla

Farmers urged to adopt natural farming in apple

Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Shimla organized a one-day Kisan Mela on Natural farming in Apple on Saturday. The mela was organized in collaboration with Prakritik Krishi Khushaal Kisan Yojna. An exhibition on natural farming was inaugurated by Professor Rajeshwar Singh Chandel, Vice-Chancellor of Dr. Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni who was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Members of Women's self-help groups and associations engaged in natural farming took part in the exhibition at KVK Shimla at Rohru.

Dr. Divender Gupta, Director Extension Education welcomed the farmers. Addressing the gathering, Dr. Ram Krishan Sharma, Project Director ATMA Shimla briefed about the activities undertaken under natural farming in Shimla district. Dr. NS Kaith, Principal Scientist and Incharge KVK Shimla apprised about the scope of natural farming in apple and how this could be used to increase the farm incomes.

Lauding the role of women in agriculture and in the success of any new innovative government schemes, Professor Chandel said that the new farming system can only achieve its full potential when women take the leading role in its implementation. Speaking on the importance of local seeds and benefits, Professor Chandel urged the farmers to preserve their local seeds and crops whose cultivation has drastically come down in the past decades. He asked the different self-help groups to help in increasing the production of millets in the region. Professor Chandel said the cost of cultivation of apple, which was a major cash crop of the state, could be drastically reduced with the adoption of natural farming. He said that natural farming not only helps to improve the quality of produce but also helps in the conservation of the environment by improving soil health and reduction in water usage for agriculture. Several farmers engaged in natural farming also shared their experiences of adopting this technique in their orchards. The farmer's groups engaged in natural farming were also honoured on the occasion.

Dr. JC Bhardwaj, former Incharge of KVK Shimla, Dr. Kushal Mehta, HDO; Dr. Ibajanai Kurbah, representatives from several farmers’ associations and officers from the horticulture and agriculture department took part in the Kisan Mela. A field visit to the orchard of Sanjeev Jhamta in Gawna village of Rohru block was undertaken after the Kisan Mela. The progressive farmer has raised over 4000 apple plants under high-density plantations and has also converted his one block of the orchard into natural farming.