Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University (HPAU) organised a Kisan Mela at Killar, the headquarters of tribal Pangi sub division, in Chamba district on Saturday.
Presiding over the function, forest minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri said despite tough terrain and small land holdings in tribal areas, scientific farming could become a key to success for the agrarian community in the far- flung area.
He said modern technology and know-how could help the farming community increase their crop yields.
"Scientific cattle management can help livestock keepers increase milk production," said Bharmouri, asking the university to explore the possibility of opening an extension centre at Pangi so that local farmers could get their crop and animal husbandry related problems solved at their doorstep.
He also stressed upon organising regular guiding camps and formulating packages keeping in view the peculiar agro- climatic condition of the tribal areas for the benefit of farmers.
Vice-Chancellor of HPAU, KK Katoch, appreciated the tribal farmers for their hard work in harsh conditions and said they had been able to maintain the rich agro-diversity.
"The traditional seeds are becoming extinct and the farmers who have saved such crop varieties and animal breeds need to be encouraged," said Katoch.
He said the union government had initiated programmes to address this issue with the Plant Varieties Protection Act and an authority had been set up to look into it. Over 800 farmers of the tribal region participated in the camp.