Honourable Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Shri. Narendra Singh Tomar ji visited ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Bengaluru, a premier research Institute of ICAR on 15.07.2022. Shri. Kailash Choudhary, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Shri. Surya Pratap Shahi, Minister of Agriculture, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh, Shri. Dinesh Pratap Singh, Minister of Horticulture, Govt of Uttar Pradesh also accompanied him during the visit. During this occasion, Honourable Agriculture Minister inaugurated two state-of-the-art facilities created at ICAR-IIHR. Honourable Agriculture Minister first inaugurated the of Centre of Excellence for Protected cultivation that has been funded by Mission on Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH), MoA& FW, Government of India through NHM-Karnataka. All the dignitaries visited the newly created facilities and appreciated the infrastructure that would be beneficial to large number of stakeholders. This infrastructure will facilitate the production of quality seedlings of vegetable and flower crops using automated sowing machine, assembly line, and hi-tech greenhouses; demonstration of polyhouse cultivation; training farmers on protected cultivation of vegetables, flowers and fruits; production and distribution of grafted vegetable seedlings; promoting newer technologies such as soil less cultivation;organic vegetable production; biological pest and disease management; terrace gardening, vertical farming and conducting research for refinement of technologies in protected cultivation.
Honourable Agriculture Minister also inaugurated the Business Entrepreneurship and Start-up Support through Technology in Horticulture (BESST-HORT), a Technology Business Incubator of the Institute that is funded by Department of Science and Technology, GoI under its National Initiative for Developing and Harnessing Innovations (NIDHI) Scheme. This initiative would provide a springboard for the youth to establish start-ups in horticulture/agriculture through innovation and entrepreneurship. BESST-HORT would provide technical handholding, mentoring and other support to the agri start-ups on its campus. The Centre also provides onsite and virtual training and hand holding assistance.
During this occasion, an exhibition on horticultural technologies developed by the Institute where displays of recent successes with improvement of varieties & hybrids, products, technologies were displayed. All dignitaries appreciated the progress made in the research on horticultural sciences by the Institute. It was followed by a function where the Honourable Minister addressed all the gathering at the Auditorium. Dr. Debi Sharma, Director welcomed the dignitaries and Dr. A. K. Singh, Deputy Director General (Hort. Sci.) highlighted the contribution of the Institute for the last 55 years with highlights viz. dogridge rootstock of grapes, multiple disease resistant varieties, microbial formulations, micronutrient specials, honeybee assisted pollination success in commercialization horticultural technologies etc. He specifically highlighted the successes achieved by PhD Scholars of the Institute. A new video on “Honey bee Assisted Pollination in Protected Cultivation” was released by the Chief Guest. The website of the BESST-HORT also was inaugurated virtually. Besides the three technical bulletins viz., Success Stories of ICAR-IIHR Interventions in NEH Region towards Livelihood Security, Avocado cultivation in India (Hindi), Dragon Fruit in India: Present Situation and Possibilities (Hindi) were released by the Chief Guest. Honourable Agriculture Minister addressed the gathering and he lauded the progress made by horticulture subject matter division of ICAR and IIHR. He mentioned the importance given by the government for the promotion of horticulture in the country. In his address he highlighted how the visionary guidance of Honourable Prime Minister has helped in achieving the progress made so far as well as his vision for the future. Honourable Minister encouraged the scientists and students to continue with the same spirit and his support for the organization. The programme ended with the vote of thanks by Dr. Anil K. Nair, Principal Scientist, ICAR-IIHR.