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In the initiative to uplift horticultural farmers in Odisha, the Central Horticultural Experiment Station (CHES), ICAR-IIHR, Bhubaneswar orchestrated an extensive day-long program, placing a special focus on input distribution and dissemination of technical knowledge to Scheduled Caste farmers in Odisha under the SCSP program on 17th January 2024. About 250 farmers from Ganjam, Cuttack, Dhenkanal, Puri, Jajpur, and Gajapati districts participated in the program. The collaborative spirit was evident with the participation of officials from various ICAR institutes, Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) personnel, and entrepreneurs, fostering a unified approach to horticultural development. The program commenced with a thoughtful presidential address by Dr. G. C. Acharya, Head & Principal Scientist of CHES, Bhubaneswar. Adding prestige to the occasion, Dr. Amaresh Kumar Nayak, Director of ICAR-National Rice Research Institute, graced the event as the chief guest. Dr. Nayak emphasized the pivotal role of CHES in horticultural empowerment in the Odisha region, highlighting the popularity of technologies and varieties developed by ICAR-IIHR & CHES among Odisha farmers. Dr. Senthil Kumar, Principal Scientist at ICAR-IIHR, Bengaluru, presented a detailed overview of the program, accentuating its benefits and accomplishments. Dr. P. Srinivas, Principal Scientist, CHES, Bhubaneswar, shed light on the contributions of CHES and the SCSP (Scheduled Caste Sub Plan) program in enhancing the livelihoods of SC farmers in Odisha. The program featured the distribution of horticultural inputs like vegetable seeds, grafted fruit crop plantlets, equipment’s and rose cuttings to the participating farmers.

Dr. Satyapriya Singh, Scientist in Entomology at CHES, Bhubaneswar, provided essential information about CHES, elucidating its contributions to farmers’ empowerment in production, protection, technology dissemination, and germplasm conservation in horticultural crops. Representatives from Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) across different districts expressed satisfaction and adoption of IIHR and CHES, Bhubaneswar varieties, and technologies during the program. Moreover, an interactive session addressed farmers’ problems and provided practical solutions. The event featured nine stalls, offering a platform for farmers to explore various aspects of horticulture. The programme was successful due to the dedicated efforts of the organizing team and staff of CHES, Bhubaneswar.

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