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One-day awareness programme on underutilized fruits was conducted on 6th June 2023 at ICAR-IIHR, Bengaluru. Dr. S. K. Singh, Director, ICAR-IIHR, during his inaugural address highlighted the nutritional importance of underutilized fruits and stressed the merit of underutilized fruits in our daily diet to improve health and quality life. He also urged the need for diversification of fruit crops by growing more underutilized crops. Dr R. Senthil Kumar, Chairman, SCSP, ICAR-IIHR welcomed the gathering and briefed about IIHR and SCSP activities. Director distributed grafted plants of Tamarind and Jamun to the representatives of different farmer groups, line department officials and other participants who serve as ambassador for IIHR technologies. A publication on ‘Guide on underutilized fruits’ was released during the programme.

During the technical session, Dr P. C. Tripathi, Head-in-charge and Dr Anuradha Sane, Principal Scientist, Division of Fruit Crops delivered lectures on different underutilized fruits, nutritional importance, value added products, cultivation and management for doubling farmer’s income. Dr Senthil Kumar explained about the health benefits, cultivation and management, value added products of different garcinia species. Dr Kanupriya delivered a lecture on cultivation and management and value added products of tamarind and Dr V. Sankar explained about the success stories of ICAR-IIHR technologies spread across different states. Exhibition stall was arranged to showcase different underutilized fruits indicating different uses and health benefits. The program was attended by 177 persons including 102 farmers from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu (7 districts) and Kerala, NABARD officials from 7 states, KVK officials of Tamil Nadu, ADH, Karnataka, BSF officers (8), Yelahanka, students of GPS Institute of agriculture and management (17 nos), Jain university and others. Participants were also taken to different underutilized fruit blocks and explained about the different underutilized fruits and their cultivation and management practices. During the farmers-scientists’ interaction meeting, scientists clarified the doubts raised by the farmers. During the valedictory function, inputs such as Arka Microbial Consortium (AMC) and Mucuna seeds were distributed to the farmers. The programme was organized by Dr P. C. Tripathi, Dr Anuradha Sane, Dr Kanupriya, Scientists, Division of Fruit Crops in collaboration with Dr R. Senthil Kumar and Dr V. Sankar under SCSP programme.

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