Palampur: Governor Bandaru Dattatraya stressed for the need of active contribution of CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology, Palampur (IHBT) for the introduction of Heeng and Monk fruit in Himachal Pradesh. He seeks the active collaboration with relevant state agencies, so that the associated benefits were achieved faster and at a larger level.

The Governor, while speaking in a function at CSIR-IHBT, Palampur, today, said the success of saffron cultivation in potential new growing areas in HP, would not only bring prosperity to the local farmers but meaningfully contribute towards the dwindling status of its production in the country.  

Governor lauded the initiatives of the Agri university for making incense cones by using temple waste. He said that developing entrepreneurship around such and similar ongoing activities at CSIR-IHBT, and by promoting start-ups and developing skills were of great value for inclusive growth.

Dattatraya said that Himachal was a rich producer of apple, almonds, cherry, peach, mango, citrus and other fruits. He said that preventing post-harvest losses of these fruits as well as of vegetables was one of the serious national problems. He added that the Institute’s technology on ready-to-eat crispy fruits and vegetables was highly relevant in enhancing their shelf life, yet maintaining nutritional status, and the product holds high market potential.

The Governor said that the increasing dependence on medicinal plants and their ruthless extraction has sharply declined its status in the wild. In this direction, CSIR-IHBT works on the promotion of cultivation of medicinal plants and conversion of their rare, endangered and threatened (RET) status to the non-RET status, which was a matter of immense appreciation, he added. He expressed his satisfaction that 1.4 lakhs plants of Valeriana jatamansi, Inula and Podophyllum have been rehabilitated in natural habitat in the forest and said that these efforts lay the basis of linking the activity with the recently approved Van Samridhi Jan Samridhi Yojana of the state government.

The Governor congratulated the authority for carrying out high-quality research in the areas of fundamental sciences to assess and harness the potential of bioresources, particularly of Himalayas, and developing technologies of industrial application for societal upliftment and betterment.

The Governor also took stock of Bioreactor facility, tissue culture, hydroponics & aeroponics facilities and food processing facility. He also inaugurated the Solar Electricity facility of 350 KVA and also laid the foundation stone of 120 rooms hostel to be constructed at a cost of Rs 30 crore. He also inaugurated Bridge and road network. 

Earlier, Dr Sanjay Kumar, Director, CSIR-IHBT, Palampur welcomed the Governor and briefed about the activities of the institute.

The Institute also signed five MoUs for collaboration for postgraduate research between ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research, Karnal and CSK Himachal Pradesh Krishi Vishvvidyalaya, Palampur in the presence of the Governor.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.