Climate change is not affecting environment but also other factors like agriculture and horticulture production. Though agriculture has been the backbone of our economy but unfortunately it has taken a back seat.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal was speaking on the occasion of inauguration of National Seminar on ‘Indian Agriculture: Present Situation, Challenges, Remedies and Road Map’ organized by the Youth for Sustainable Development, Shimla in collaboration with the CSK Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, Palampur in the University Auditorium. He also released a souvenir on this occasion highlighting the subjects being raised in the seminar.

He said that agriculture provided the disguised employment thus releasing the pressure of direct employment. He said the State Govt. had started many schemes for boosting up agriculture production and other allied fields. He said that Rs. 353 crore ambitious Pandit Deen Dayal Kisan Baagwan Yojna had been implemented in the State under which a subsidy of 80 to 90 per cent was being given for the construction of ploy houses.

Chief Minister said that the problem of stray animals should be resolved socially. He stressed upon the need for adopting agriculture practices with proper planning. He told that the share of off-season vegetables had increased considerably in the State Economy. Grading and processing unit had been set up at Auddi near Narkanda. A unit for skimmed milk had been set up at Datt Nagar to facilitate those engaged in dairy activities. Organic farming was being encouraged in the state and a total of 25,000 farmers had been registered for organic farming so far. Prof. Dhumal told that HP had emerged as one of the best States in the country in various indicators of development.

Padma Vibhushan Dr. Kshma Metre, National Director, CORD, Sidhabari, who was the guest of honour also spoke on the occasion. In her address, she stressed upon the need of co-ordination among various govt. departments, private organizations and individual farmers and other persons engaged in agriculture and allied activities so that the real benefits could reach at the grass-root level.

Dr. S.K. Sharma, Vice-chancellor of the CSK HP Agricultural University while welcoming the Chief Minister and other guests detailed about the activities of the University Bihari Lal, Executive Director of Youth for Sustainable Development, Shimla while presenting the overview of the seminar briefed about the aims and objectives of holding the seminar.

Earlier the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone of the building of the proposed boys’ hostel building in the premises of the Agricultural University to be built at a cost of Rs. one crore. The hostel building with 16 dormitories would house 48 students is being funded by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi. Tulsi Ram, Speaker, HP Vidhan Sabha, Capt Atma Ram and Praveen Sharma, MLAs and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.