Solan: A young farmer Karan Singh Thakur from Dharo Ki Dhar village of Solan district, has been awarded with Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Antyoday Krishi Puraskar (Zonal) 2019 by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

The award was announced during the 92nd Foundation Day celebrations of ICAR held earlier this week. This year awardees under 20 different categories were selected. These comprise three institutions, two AICRP, 14 KVKs, scientists, farmers, journalists and staff members of various ICAR institutes. The farmers were awarded under four categories. Under Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Antyoday Krishi Puraskar, 1 national and 11 zonal awards were given.

For Zone 1 comprising Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, Karan shared the award with Chakmaur Singh of Moga, Punjab. The award carries a citation and a cash prize of Rs 25,000 each. The award recognizes the contributions of marginal and small farmers for developing sustainable integrated models of farming.

Karan, an alumnus of Dr Yashwant Singh Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Nauni had ventured into flower and fruit plants nursery production in the year 2012-13. Karan has set an example in commercial nursery production of fruit plants along with protected cultivation of flowers. He converted his professional skills acquired from UHF Nauni into entrepreneurship.

Starting from a polyhouse of 100 sq mt in 2012, Karan presently has 3,000 sq. meter area under polyhouse in which he grows carnations and earns Rs 13 lakh annually. Another feather in his cap is the production of quality nursery of apple, plum, pear, pomegranate, kiwi, apricot, peach nectarine and persimmon. The fruit nursey business fetches him around Rs 14 lakh annually and also helps provide jobs to several locals. Karan acknowledges the support of the university and the Krishi Vigyan Kendra Solan, which have provided him with guidance and knowledge to grow his venture. His success has helped him become an inspiration for young farmers who want to pursue agriculture as an enterprise

Bahra University

Dr Parvinder Kaushal, Vice-Chancellor, UHF Nauni congratulated Karan for his achievement. He said that it was heartening to see an alumnus of the university succeed in the agri-horticulture field and become an inspiration for students and farmers of the state.