To boost agriculture activities and better the situation of the agrarian community, two farm universities of the state - Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University (HPAU), Palampur, and Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry (UHF), Solan - will be joining hands for research and extension programme.
The decision was taken at a meeting between the newly appointed vice-chancellor of the HPAU, KK Katoch, and his UHF counterpart, Vijay Singh Thakur. It is for the first time that both V-Cs are planning joint research and extension programmes to better the situation of the farming community in the state. Both universities will collaborate in programmes where the beneficiary is the farming community.
Katoch said it would be an integration of extensive research and extension set-up the two institutions. “It will save the scarce financial and other resources that the two primer institutions have,” Katoch said.
Elaborating about the collaboration programme, Katoch said the HPAU has 13 research stations and Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) in eight districts, while the UHF has nine research stations and KVKs in four districts. “We have no infrastructure in the districts where the UHF has and the same is the case with Solan institute,” Katoch said
“The integration of the infrastructure of the two universities will be helpful in serving farmers in a better way as both institutions will have expanded network,” the HPAU V-C said. Katoch said the HPAU was considering opening two agriculture colleges in Kullu and Sirmour district, where the UHF has its set-up. “While our colleges will strengthen the UHF's set-up, the services of horticulture scientists already working there will be helpful for our extension programmes,” Katoch said.
Besides, the universities will be strengthening ties in making available planting material in lower, mid and high hills of the state, while a joint workshop on vegetable crops is on the cards.
Before the bifurcation of the HPAU, its horticulture complex in Solan was catering to temperate regions and the Palampur campus was making available planting material to the sub-tropical regions in the state. The Solan campus was made a state university in 1985.