The four-day National Horticulture Fair (NHF 2020) was formally inaugurated on February 5, 2020 by Dr. Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary DARE and Director General (DG), ICAR in the presence of farmers, entrepreneurs, officials of ICAR institutes, State Agricultural Universities (SAUs), development departments, representatives of private industry and press personnel at ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Hesaraghatta. Dr. Joykrushna Jena, Deputy Director General (Fisheries Sciences) participated as the guest of honour.
In his inaugural address, DG, ICAR stressed that there is a need to address the malnutrition problem in the country, for which, horticultural produces are the hope. He added that the agricultural policies of the governments towards doubling the farmers’ income are supporting the steady progress of horticulture in the country. He also stressed about creating awareness about the nutrition and vertical gardening for nutritional security and emphasized the need for horticulture-based integrated farming systems. He invited the Press professionals to make efforts to popularize the technologies produced by the ICAR for the benefit of the farmers. Appreciating the arrangements made through technology demonstrations and exhibition, he congratulated the Director Dr M.R. Dinesh and staff members of ICAR-IIHR.
During the programme, eight farmers representing Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Mizoram and Odisha were felicitated by the DG, ICAR for their contributions in the field of horticulture and popularising the varieties/ technologies of the ICAR-IIHR. He launched a web application, ‘ICAR-IIHR Seed Portal’ capable in capturing information on seed handling & seed process flow, seed quality testing, seed packaging and storage in the back-end of application, and online sale of seeds and planting material produced by the institute. A three language mobile app ‘Arka Bagwani’ in English, Hindi and Kannada which provides information on institute developed varieties & technologies, success stories, availability of seeds & planting material, glimpses of earlier horticulture fairs & exhibitions and training & symposia conducted by the institute was also released by DG, ICAR in the NHF.
Earlier, the exhibition of more than 250 stalls pertaining to horticultural technologies and services of organizations such as ICAR-IIHR, development departments, ICAR institutes and public and private sector organizations, input industry, was inaugurated by the awardee farmers. The first day of the event had participation of more than 10,000 farmers and other stakeholders.