ICAR-IIHR organized its 55th institute foundation day on September 7, 2021 by following COVID-19 standard operating procedures which was also webcasted through YouTube. The programme started with ICAR and IIHR theme songs, followed by invocation by Dr.Umamaheshwari and team. Dr. B.N.S. Murthy, Director, ICAR-IIHR welcomed the gathering and in his introductory remarks, elaborated various activities and events organized during the past year. He referred about the varieties & technologies of the institute, their contributions to the national economy, state of the art facilities and RET medicinal plants garden. He also made mention of success of seed village program in quality planting material production, connecting to farmers through technology demonstrations in farmers field (1600 in North-East India & 600 in Karnataka.), National Horticultural Fair (connecting about 16 lakh participants), income generation through licensing (1.9 crore) and activities of Society for Promotion of Horticulture. The recent initiatives in digitization viz., online seed portal, ‘Arka Samachar’ e-bulletin and ‘Arka Vyaapar App’ were also touched upon. The service of administration, finance, farm management and PME cell was acknowledged by the Director. He also made a mention on the upcoming conference on Fruit & Vegetables for nutrition and National Horticultural Fair. Further, the video film on IIHR vista was played to give a glimpse on overall activities of the institute. Distinguished guest of the program, Shri. N.Munirathna, Hon. Minister of Horticulture, GoK addressed the gathering, emphasizing, need for improving the farm income and appreciated the activities of the institute in aiding the farming the farming community. The guest was felicitated by the Director, ICAR-IIHR.
Comprehensive and insightful foundation day lecture on “Role of Horticulture in Indian Economy” by Dr. Ashok Dalwai, CEO, National Rainfed Authority, Government of India enthralled all the participants by emphasizing the potential of research and extension in Horticulture in bringing income security to the farmers. The need of crop diversification and high value agriculture, not only in improving income security but also in the nutritional security of consumers was reiterated. Importance of horticulture in generating gainful employment in agriculture through primary and secondary horticulture was emphasized. He opined that ‘science for delivery’ in terms of nutrition to the consumers, income to the farmers and sustainable technology for ecology is the need of the hour.
On the occasion, one cucumber variety ‘Arka Veera’, Video documentaries on IIHR technologies under RKVY project, six publications namely, ‘Dragon fruit (Kannada)’, ‘Pineapple Germplasm- Characterization & Evaluation’, ‘Commercial Seed Production of Important Vegetable Crops (Odia)’, ‘Good Agricultural Practices for Commercially Important Flower Crops’, ‘Arka Flower Varieties and Production Technology’ and ‘e-Compendium on Advances in Horticultural Technologies’ were released.
The session was followed by the distribution of Best Farmers and Staff excellency awards by the Director. Best Farmer award was given to Mr. Krishna Naik, Ramanagara, Karnataka, Mr. Rajesh Oza, Udaipur, Rajasthan, Mr. F. Lalsangzuala, Mizoram, Mr. Vanlalkunga, Mizoram and Mr. Chandan Kumar Khuntia, Bhubaneswar. Mr. Prabhav.G., Easy Krishi Pvt. Ltd., Bengaluru, a licensee of Neem Seed Pellet Technology was presented with a certificate of appreciation. Dr. Madhavi Reddy, Principal Scientist & Head (I/c), Division of Vegetable Crops was awarded as the Best teacher. Mr.Veerappa K. Mahishi and Mr. D.V.Ramamurthy in Technical; Mr.B.Lokanatha and Mr.R.G.Ramesh in Administrative; and Mr. V.Venkanna, B.Anjanappa and Mr. R.Muniraju in Skilled Support Staff Categories bagged the Best staff awards in their respective sections.
In the presidential address, Dr. Anand Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General (Hort. Sci.), ICAR, New Delhi conveyed best wishes to all the staff, appreciated IIHR’s contribution in terms of varieties and technologies developed, transfer of technology in terms of economic gain and also suggested the future line of work like value addition, transfer of technology through reliable package of practices to farmers to cater export and trade demands in horticultural sector.
Dr.G.R.Smitha and Ms.K.N.Poornima compeered the program and Ms.Anushma.P.L, Nodal Officer, Sports and Staff Welfare Committee proposed vote of thanks to all who were involved in organizing the Institute Foundation Day successfully. ADG (Hort. Sci.), Directors of other ICAR Institutes, Vice Chancellors of SAUs, RAC members, Superannuated staff, Scientists, Students and staff of IIHR and other participants joined the program through webcasting link of YouTube.