ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, a premier institute under Indian Council of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, established in 1967, has a sprawling eco-friendly campus of 263 ha at Hesaraghatta, Bengaluru. Apart from this main campus, this institute has Central Horticultural Experiment Stations at Bhubaneswar in Odisha and Chettalli in Karnataka and two Krishi Vignyan Kendras (Farm Science Centres) at Gonikoppal and Hirehalli, Karnataka. Ever since established, the institute has been working with a surpassing vision to make horticulture as an enterprise and farmer as an entrepreneur. Moving in this direction, increasing and relentless efforts are in place at this institute to reorient and refine approaches for developing ecofriendly sustainable and widely adoptable technologies contributing towards increased food and nutritional security, quality and higher output. A mission mode approach to bring improvement in fruits, vegetables, ornamental and medicinal crops through genetic manipulation, refinements in pre and post-harvest technology through precision horticulture, mechanization and other modern approaches are in practice.
The institute is presently working on 54 horticultural crops (13 fruits, 26 vegetables,10 flowers and 5 medicinal crops) and released nearly 300 varieties, commercialized 80 technologies to 400 firms with 800 licenses. Besides providing commercial licenses for technologies, ICAR-IIHR has also a vibrant Horti-business incubation centre since 2013 that has created more than 40 start-ups with incubation facility and services to nine incubatees so far.
The Institute is involved in first line transfer of technology for dissemination of information and technologies and trained more than 6000 personnel so far. Apart from training huge number of farmers, farm women and private entrepreneurs, some of the innovative extension methods like mobile messaging, farmers’ field schools and employing techno-agents for promotion of sustainable horticultural activities, video conferencing for training, interactive meets, radio and TV programs, lab to land, Mera Gaon Mera Guarav and Farmers FIRST have been successfully employed by this institute todisseminate and update information to farmers and entrepreneurs.
As part of dissemination efforts, the ICAR-IIHR regularly conducts state and national horticultural fairs, melas, exhibitions, seminars and symposia for the benefit of farmers and entrepreneurs as well. Basically, these programmes are aimed at knowledge sharing innovations in horticulture by showcasing technologies and demonstrations, providing common platform to the service providers for interaction with the farming communities. In that way, IIHR organizes National Horticulture Fair 2020 during February 5-8, 2020. The salient activities of national horticultural fair will be exhibition of stalls from public and private sectors, live demonstrations of improved varieties and technologies, farmers-entrepreneurs-scientists interactions, sale of seeds, planting material and products from ICAR-IIHR and other public and private firms for benefit of end users.
In 2019, the fair witnessed more than 25000 farmers from 22 states to get benefit out of 120 improved pest/disease resistant varieties in 40 crops, integrated cropping systems, demonstration of Integrated Pest, Disease and Nutrient Management practices and protected cultivation, soilless culture for urban horticulture, climate resilient horticulture technologies and 150 stall
showcasing products related to horticulture. While ‘horticultural for promoting rural prosperity’ was last year theme, ‘horticulture-making farming an enterprise’ is current year (2020) theme, which is going to be held at IIHR Hesaraghatta from February 5-8, 2020 with an expected participation of more than 50000 farmers.
ICAR-IIHR has developed package of practices for some of the feasible crops on organic horticulture and good agriculture practices to ensure both quantity and quality of horticultural products with a major thrust on safeguarding soil health and ensuing pesticide free commodities. Further, technologies that benefit tribal groups and farming community in North Eastern States are given in much priority.
Besides showcasing five decades of achievements, which include high impact technologies like release of high yielding varieties/pest and disease tolerant varieties, Arka Microbial Consortium, nutrient specials, pheromone traps, value added post-harvest products, bio-pesticides, post-harvest machinery etc and large number of below listed recently released varieties/ technologies will also be displayed in this fair:
• High yielding mango hybrids-Arka Udaya and Arka Suprabhath
• High yielding guava hybrids-Arkakiran, Arka Poorna
• Triple disease resistant tomato hybrids-Arka Aditya and Arka Apeksha
• High yielding tomato hybrid for processing- Arka Vishesh
• Value added products of jackfruit- Arka halasuras (beverage) Arka Jacholate (chocolate) Arka jackies (cookies)
• Health benefiting avocodo powder
• High yielding chilli hybrid- Arka Khyati
• High yielding onion variety- Arka Bheem
• High yielding photo-insensitive French bean variety-Arka Sharath
• High yielding pole type photo-insensitive Yard long bean variety-Arka Mangala
• High yielding and high antioxidant vegetable Amaranth varieties-Arka Samrakasha and Arka Varna
• High yielding pole type Dolichos variety-Arka Supriya
• Inter specific grafts in tomato for flood tolerance
• Cut flower, bedding purpose, attractive floret colour type gladiolus varieties-Arka Ranjini, Arka Pratham
• Highly floriferous, ever blooming ,attractive garden rose varieties-Arka Kinnari, Arka Sharmeeli, Arka Sinchana
• High yielding, medium sized and attractive orange colour flowers of crossandra variety- Arka Chenna
• Semi double flower with white colour and green disc type gerbera variety-Arka White
• Double flower with pink colour and black disc type gerbera variety-Arka Pink
• Floriferous,dwarf and photo-insensitive marigold variety-Arka Pari
• Photo-insensitive with double coloured flower type marigold variety -Arka Honey
• Value added products of mushroom- fortified Arka chutney, rasam powders
• Machinery/Structures: Arka fertreedril, jack fruit peeler, Arka vertical garden, solar power integrated outdoor mush room growing unit, Arka mobile vending van, power operated onion de-topper etc.,
• Pest and disease control products: neem-based pellets, tuta light trap, Arka borer control
• communication: Demo of Arka Baagwani app and apps on chilli, papaya and okra cultivation
With wide display of such advanced technologies/varieties/products coupled with live demonstration and by bringing public and private sector under one roof for one to one interaction, it is expected that the forthcoming National Horticulture Fair at ICAR-IIHR open all avenues to make horticulture as business and throw light on ways and means of doubling the farmers income and enhance entrepreneur business.
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