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A special training programme was organized on “Advances in Production Technology of Floriculture” for the officials of Directorate of Horticulture, Department of Agriculture, Government of Assam during March 25-28,2022. A total of 20 officials representing 15 districts of Assam were trained on various advances in floriculture production technologies. The main purpose of the special training was to impart the officials towards knowledge and skills on production technology of important floriculture crops of Assam such as gerbera, rose, anthurium, tuberose, marigold. Gladiolus, etc., in order to facilitate them in effectively implement the newly introduced ‘Floriculture Mission’ in the state Assam.

A planned schedule of theory and practical classes were organized for the officials on advances in production technology of marigold, rose, tuberose, gladiolus, aster, crossandra etc in the open cultivation scenario and rose, gerbera, carnation etc., in the protected cultivation conditions, including the sessions on management of natural resources as well as pests and diseases that are occurring in floriculture ecosystem; post-harvest handling, value addition and flower waste utilization; and sessions on vertical farming, hydroponics and aeroponics of flower crops. These officials were also taken for field visits to various demonstration and commercial units such as Arka savi plot of progressive farmer Mr Chandra Babu in Shivkotte, Bengaluru Rural District; Shri VenSai FloriTech in Narasimhanahalli, Doddaballapur district; International Flower Auction Centre, Hebbal, Bengaluru; and Botanical Garden, Lalbagh, Bengaluru. Within ICAR-IIHR, the officials were taken to the floriculture demonstration plot at the National Horticulture Fair (NHF) Block, Centre of Excellence (CoE) on Protected Cultivation to show the demonstrations on vertical farming, hydroponics and aeroponics units; Agricultural Technology Information Centre (ATIC); Seed Sales Unit; ICAR-IIHR plant nursery etc. The theory sessions were arranged in a panel discussion mode, so that the officials freely interact with the resource persons and get their doubts clarified.
The officials were subjected to pre and post-training evaluation, the analysis of which indicated that the participants had 45.4% knowledge gain on the theme, as a result of four-day training interventions. The participants were facilitated with the resource material presented by the resource persons and publications of ICAR-IIHR relevant to advances in floriculture production technology. Overall, the participants expressed their satisfaction over the training interventions and assured to follow up with the scientists of ICAR-IIHR regarding implementation of floriculture production technology in their respective back-home conditions. They also assured that a batch of progressive farmers and entrepreneurs will be sent to ICAR-IIHR in future, as a next step in the implementation of the ‘Floriculture Mission’ project of Assam.
Prof. SK Singh, Director, ICAR-IIHR participated both in the inaugural and valedictory sessions of the training, motivated the officials as well as highlighted pragmatic strategies for effective collaboration between ICAR-IIHR and Government of Assam for dissemination of advanced floriculture production technologies. He also appreciated the cooperation rendered by the officials, efforts of coordinators and resource persons of the training programme, which was organized in a short notice of time. This special training programme was coordinated by Dr RB Tiwari, Dr R Venkattakumar, Dr VKJ Rao of Division of Social Sciences and Training and Dr Usha Bharathi of Division of Floriculture and Medicinal Crops.

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