Palampur: ‘Golden Jubilee Forage Garden’ was inaugurated at CSK Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University here today. While inaugurating the garden through virtual mode, Dr. T. Mohapatra, Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), asked all farm universities to develop fodder production development, forage seed production plans and fodder production-based entrepreneurship in consultation with Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute (IGFRI), Jhansi.
Prof H.K. Chaudhary, Vice-Chancellor expressed his gratitude to the ICAR for planning forage gardens in farm universities to commemorate golden jubilee year of the ‘All India Coordinated Research Project on Forage Crops and Utilization (AICRP-FCU) which was established in 1970. The Vice-Chancellor said that the forage garden established by Dr. Naveen Kumar, Officer In charge and associated scientists will certainly help farmers, students and other stakeholders to get them acquainted with various forage crops, their improved varieties, production and protection technologies for further utilization at their end according to their needs and requirements.
The Vice-Chancellor said that all crops have emerged from grasses hence ‘Grasses First Crops Next’ slogan should get pragmatic shape. Importance of livestock for livelihood security of people demands utmost attention of the scientific community towards grasses and forages. He suggested inclusion of ‘ Doob grass’, ‘Kusha grass’ and ‘Cogon (Chhij) grass’ in the forage garden. He said that crop farming, animal husbandry and pastoralism are intimately integrated in the state and dairy contributes about 35 to 55 per cent of the family income. He told that since its inception, AICRP (FCU) programmes have been focusing for the improvement, development and management of forage resources with a view to bridge the gap between demand and supply of forage in the state. This centre has developed high yielding 18 varieties of different fodder crops, grasses and fodder legumes.
Prof Chaudhary said that the center has also its strength in the forage seed and root slips production having wider adaptability. The forage varieties and technologies developed by the centre have also found their place in J&K, Uttarakhand, Punjab and North East part of the country. AICRP (Forage Crops and Utilisation) Palampur centre has been awarded “Best Centre Award” during the year 2017 for its contribution towards Forage Resources Development in Himachal Pradesh.
Dr.T.R. Sharma, Deputy Director General), ICAR expressed happiness that scientifically designed “Golden Jubilee Forage Gardens” comprising more than 50 improved high yielding varieties of annual and perennial crops have been successfully established in 50 farm institutes in the country despite the adversities posed by Covid19 pandemic. Dr A.K Roy, Project Coordinator and many other scientists associated with the project also expressed their views.