Friday, November 9, 2012



The third day of the on-going 5th Indian Horticultural Congress on "Horticulture for Food and Environment Security," at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), witnessed detailed discussions on advances in post-harvest management of horticulture crops, re-orientation of horticulture education and innovative marketing strategies in horticulture. Besides, a fruitful industry-scientist interaction was held among the experts from various parts of the country.

Referring to post-harvest management of horticulture crops, the experts emphasized on creating awareness among the farmers about the adoption of readily available post-harvest equipment/machinery and value-added techniques. The participating delegates were apprised of utilization of waste/by-product, pre and post-harvest treatments for extending shelf life of horticultural produce, processing technologies for fruits and vegetables and emerging technologies in extraction of bio-active compounds from horticultural crops. Besides, the experts highlighted post-harvest management strategies for reducing losses and enhancing returns.

About re-orienting horticulture education, the experts said that teaching is a priority for research and technology evolvement. The number of farm universities in India is on the rise and that 56 agri-universities including fisheries and horticultural varsities are functional in the country, they divulged. The component of agricultural education started in 1960s and presently, Karnataka is a leading state with the establishment of six farm universities, they informed. "The introduction of horticulture education at school level, accountability of teachers and institutions, human resources for cutting edge-technology, national and international collaborations, curbing of inbreeding in admission and recruitment, healthy teaching environment and strong communication skills of teaching fraternity, are vital for re-orienting horticulture education," stressed the experts.

Deliberating on innovative marketing strategies in horticulture, the experts underlined the need for market led agriculture and proper dissemination of market intelligence. Besides, the other thrust areas were agricultural marketing reforms and horticultural market information and intelligence system in India.

The technical sessions were chaired by Dr B.S. Dhillon, former Dean of Postgraduate Studies, PAU; Dr Kirti Singh, Chairperson, World Noni Research Foundation, Chennai, Tamil Nadu; Dr S.S. Johl, Chancellor, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda; and S. JBS Sangha, Managing Director, Sangha Seeds, Jalandhar, Punjab.

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