Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Shimla organized a 2-day training programme on “Seed and Nursery Techniques of Juniper and Important Medicinal Plants of Cold Desert Region” at its Cold Desert Field Research Station-cum-Van Vigyan Kendra, Leh on 20th & 21st August 2018 for the frontline field staff of twin districts of Leh & Kargil Forest Divisions and progressive farmers in collaboration with the Jammu & Kashmir Forest Department.The event was inaugurated by Shri Dorjay Motup, Chief Executive Councillor, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh by planting a seedling of Juniper in the campus of Cold Desert Field Research Station-cum-Van Vigyan Kendra, Leh.Speaking on the occasion, Shri Dorjay Motup, said that Juniper is very pious plant in cold desert and plays very important role in the ecology of the region. He appreciated the efforts of the Scientists of HFRI, Shimla in breaking the seed dormancy of Juniper and successfully established nursery stock of this species. He also thanked the Director, HFRI for providing training to the field functionaries of Leh & Kargil Forest Divisions and hoped that the participants will learn the practical aspects of growing and conserving Juniper and important high altitude medicinal plants. He further stressed that state Forest Department of J&K will work together with HFRI, Shimla in implementing various standardized techniques developed in the forestry sector for conserving fragile ecosystem of the cold desert.
Dr. Sandeep Sharma, Senior Scientist, HFRI, Shimla welcomed the Chief Guest and all participants and highlighted the activities and achievements of the Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Shimla, which is one of the regional research Institutes under Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education, Dehradun. He said that last year Institute organized a Kisan Mela at Cold Desert Field Research Station-cum-Van Vigyan Kendra, Leh and it was then requested by the participants for organizing a training programme on Juniper technology for the benefits of field functionaries of forest department and local communities. Conceding the request, the HFRI decided to organize the training on Juniper and high altitude cold desert medicinal plants in collaboration with J&K Forest Department. He maintained that the Institute will supply Juniper seedlings raised at HFRI nurseries in Himachal Pradesh to the state forest department to establish a demonstration plot on trial basis in the Ladakh region.Shri Pitamber Singh Negi, Scientist, HFRI, Shimla, who has developed seeds and nursery technology of Juniper shared his experience on the subject with the participants. He elaborated all the details right from its seed collection to the establishment of nursery stock and plantation.
Mohammad Abbass, DFO, Leh deliberated on the scenario of natural regeneration of Juniper and other cold desert species and its importance to the Ladakh region.Participants also visited high tech nursery of SKAUST-K at Stakna where Dr. Anil Kumar, Scientist oriented about green house/ polyhouse and trench cultivation techniques of vegetables and horticulture crops important to the region. In the afternoon Dr. Sandeep Sharma, Scientist HFRI, delivered a lecture on organic farming composting and vermin-composting techniques. Shri Tsering Angdu, Executive Councilor, Agriculture, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council, Leh also planted a seedling of Juniper in the campus and also distributed certificates to the participants and appreciated the efforts of HFRI for their proactive efforts in developing the nursery technique of juniper and organizing such kind of training in the Ladakh region.This training was attended by about thirty (30) participants from frontline field staff from Leh and Kargil Forest Divisions and interested progressive farmers from Leh region.