Mashobra/Shimla: The technical expert from New Zealand Dr Steph Montgomery, Dr. Jack Hughes- Plant Physiologist, Dr. Mike Nelson Nutrition expert and Dr David Manktelow Plant Protection, Pathology provided training on the establishment and management of High-Density Orchards and also gave practical field demonstration on management seedling-based trees.
The Institutional Master Trainers training was conducted by the International Expert from the New Zealand Plant Food and Research (NZPFR) Limited under the World Bank funded, HP Horticulture Development Project.
The main objective of hiring the experts is to strengthen the implementation capacities of the Department of Horticulture and farmers and improvement in productivity of apple fruit crops by dissemination of relevant information and advanced technology for the establishment of high and medium-density orchards and scientific management of existing orchards.
New Zealand experts have trained about 500 technical officers and 4000 farmers by giving Institutional and hands-on training on various aspects viz, canopy management, crop load management, tree nutrition, trunk girdling, bending, notching, new orchard planting, irrigation management, insect and disease management etc.
The Departmental Officers are being trained as Master Trainers and have already been imparted three rounds of training all these officers are actively involved during the field demonstrations being conducted by the New Zealand experts in clusters.
During the training programme and technical know-how on orchard renovation, fungicides and biocontrol, key factors for nutrient management, disease risk and management, physiological disorders, growing Gala & Fuji, soils assessment & nitrate testing spray application, training and pruning was imparted.
Horticulture Minister Jagat Singh Negi also distributed master trainer certificates to as many as 30 officers and 25 farmers at Mashobra.
The Project Director, Sudesh Mokhta, Director of Research, Joint Directors of Horticulture and Deputy Directors of Horticulture as well as other senior officers of the Horticulture Department attended the event.