Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR)-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Jammu, in collaboration with Department of Agriculture, Poonch, today organised a one day training and planting material distribution programme under CSIR Floriculture Mission here in the Dak Bungalow, Poonch under the patronage of Dr. Zabeer Ahmed, Director CSIR IIIM Jammu.
Additional District Development Commissioner Poonch, Malikzada Sheraz Ul Haq was the Chief Guest of the event. He hailed the initiative of CSIR-IIIM of reaching out to the farmers of the district Poonch and informed that adoption of the floriculture crops like Marigold and Gladiolus can add to the economic returns of the farmers.
He emphasized on the judicious utilization of the available resources for achieving maximum profitability. Production of fresh loose flowers like marigold by farmers of the district has local demand due to its use in religious and cultural traditions, he added.
He also expressed his gratitude to the participating farmers and impressed upon the officers of the department of agriculture to have a coordinated approach with the CSIR IIIM team for translation of the activities under the Mission for greater outcome.
In the event 95 participating farmer beneficiaries from different areas of the district were imparted training on commercial cultivation and post-harvest technologies for Cut and Loose flower cultivars.The farmers were also provided the quality planting material of Gladiolus corms and hybrid Marigold seed.
Chief Agriculture Officer Poonch, Rakesh Sharma while welcoming the chief guest, Addl. District Development Commissioner Poonch Malikzada Sheraz Ul Haq, Nodal Scientist CSIR Floriculture Mission, Dr. Shahid Rasool,Officers of the Department of Agriculture and participating farmers, gave a brief introduction of the programme and apprised farmers about the remunerative benefits and entrepreneurial opportunities in commercial cultivation of floricultural crops.
He commended the initiative of CSIR-IIIM for extension of activities of the Mission in Poonch district to benefit the farmers. He added that the district offers a huge potential and scope for diversification to the floriculture sector and emphasized collaborative efforts with CSIR IIIM to leverage the benefit through commercial production of floriculture crops by this initiative.
He also highlighted the importance of Marigold which secretes a substance called Terethienyl in the soil which acts as a natural trap to control root knot Nematodes, bacteria and fungi besides it checks white flies, slugs and snails.
Because of its fragrance, it repels mosquitoes and beetles also. He also emphasized its cultivation round the year as being used on the occasions of cultural and religious festivals besides its aesthetic and ornamental value. Since it has a shallow root system it improves soil health and makes the soil porous and fertile as well.
While interacting with the farmers, Dr Shahid Rasool briefed about the CSIR Floriculture Mission being implemented in the UT of J&K and transformational change it has brought in the commercial floriculture sector. He informed that the Mission is one of the flagship initiatives launched by CSIR for empowering the farmers of the country through commercial cultivation and marketing of region specific floral cultivars.
The activities under the Mission are monitored at micro level by Dr. Jitendra Singh, Union Minister of State for Science and Technology for its optimal implementation to generate maximum opportunities for development of Agritech Start-ups, he added.
He further informed that Holistic Agriculture Development program being implemented by the Department of Agriculture and FW in the UT together with deployment of CSIR technologies and scientific interventions can enhance the economic and social status of the farmers and create more employment opportunities through resource optimization and integrated approach to farming practices.