Srinagar: Krishi Vigyan Kendra Ganderbal in collaboration with DARS, Rangreth organized an awareness cum training camp on popularization of bio-fortified maize hybrids in the district sponsored under DBT project. These maize hybrids are fortified with essential nutrients/ proteins, vitamins etc in addition to normal maize and play an important role in addressing nutrient balance in humans.
The programme started with the formal welcome address by Dr. Shafat A. Banday, Scientist KVK Ganderbal. During the inaugural address by Senior Scientist & Head KVK Ganderbal Dr. Ishfaq Abidi, farmers were informed about the importance of bio-fortified maize hybrids and their role as functional foods. It was stressed on farmers/ rural youth to go for crop diversification and undertake hybrid seed production of bio-fortified maize for which short skill training will be furnished to the farmers. Dr. Ishfaq Abidi, informed the gathering that Hon’ble Vice Chancellor and Directors of University have framed a blue print to double farmers income for which such programmes have been initiated in line with the national objectives. Scientists of DARS, Rangreth (Dr. F. Bahar, Dr. Ajaz, Dr. Sabina & Dr. Faisal) and KVK Ganderbal (Dr. Rafiya Munshi) gave detailed presentation on seed production of QPM hybrids, importance of pulses as intercrop, importance of QPM in household nutritional security, value added products of bio-fortified maize respectively. A detailed pamphlet on “Amazing products in Maize” was released on the occasion. The programme was part of IIMR, DBT, GoI and SKUAST-Kashmir initiative to introduce, popularize and value add bio-fortified maize in northern India. The event was attended by about 50 farmers/ farm women. The farmers showed keen interest in the programme and desired that more such programmes should be organised in future.