Himachal Pradesh chief secretary P Mitra on Sunday visited the Chaudhary Sarwan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University (HPAU) and advised the authorities to enhance its domestic income by increasing farm produce and selling it in market on competitive prices.
The senior office interacted with HPAU vice- chancellor KK Katoch and other senior officials and also visited the experimental farm of horticulture department, dairy and fishery units and modern veterinary complex in the university.
Mitra said that the university has been producing quality planting material, which has high demand among the farming community of the state.
“The production of the planting material and other farm produce needs to be increased manifold and made available across the state. The university may also open an outlet in Shimla for the purpose,” Mitra suggested.
The chief secretary evinced keen interest in the fruit plant nursery and appreciated the good work being done there.
While taking a round of the dairy unit, he asked the scientists to educate the livestock keepers about reducing inbreeding in the cattle, particularly goats.
Possibility of establishing a goat farm in the university should be explored as the animal is called “a poor man's cow” and makes around 23% of the total livestock population in the state,” said Mitra.
He asked the HPAU scientists to submit projects under Rashtirya Krishi Vikas Yojana, especially in the areas of fishery and cattle rearing.
The chief secretary appreciated the quality and facilities for the students and farmers in modern veterinary complex.
Vice-chancellor Katoch briefed the chief secretary about teaching, research and extension education being carried out in the HPAU.
He told that vegetables grown commercially was generating a revenue to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore annually in the state and protected cultivation has bright future in Himachal Pradesh.
“The university is imparting basic four days training to all those farmers who were interested in establishing poly-houses,” told Dr Katoch, adding that the HPAU curriculum was being modified by adding more courses on vegetable farming.