SKUAST-K commences 6-week entrepreneurship training on orchard canopy management

Srinagar: Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology of Kashmir Wednesday launched a six-week entrepreneurship awareness program, ‘From Branch to Branch: Understanding Canopy Management in Temperate Fruits’ at Budgam district.
The training is organised by SKUAST-K’s Division of Fruit Science, Faculty of Horticulture under the Union Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises sponsorship in collaboration with line departments.
The program is designed to equip rural unemployed youth from Budgam and the surrounding villages with vital skills and knowledge in temperate fruit cultivation.
Approximately 25 participants from rural areas joined the program to gain a comprehensive understanding of canopy management in temperate fruit cultivation.
During the program, Chief Horticulture Officer Budgam Dr Iqbal Baba discussed the significance of pruning and training in temperate fruit cultivation. He inspired the participants to become proficient pruners and trainers, highlighting the potential for entrepreneurship in this sector. Subject matter specialist Budgam Masarat Jabeen emphasised the need to focus on practical skills, theoretical knowledge, and hands-on experience in canopy management for temperate fruits.
Course Co-ordinator Dr Nowsheen Nazir Associate Professor, Division of Fruit Science at SKUAST-K, played a pivotal role in providing an overview of the training programme. She explained the critical role played by both the University and the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in the development of enterprises focused on skill-based trainings. The farmers don’t have proper knowledge of the management of tree canopies. Overcrowding of branches, less circulation of air and poor light inside the canopy leads to production of more unfruitful branches and poor-quality of fruits. This happens due to a lack of knowledge about canopy management. But there are ways to overcome this low productivity by managing the canopies of fruit crops scientifically. A Scientific way of managing the canopy can increase the productivity by 30-40%. Participants will be introduced to the best practices and modern techniques in fruit cultivation and will also be encouraged to explore the entrepreneurial opportunities within the field. In line with the Indian government’s commitment to promoting entrepreneurship and self-reliance, the collaboration between SKUAST-Kashmir and MSME is a significant step toward creating livelihood opportunities for the youth in rural areas.

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