One day “PGR Awareness camp/Biodiversity Fair” was organized by ICAR-NBPGR Regional Station Srinagar at at Qazi Morah, Poonch Jammu & Kashmir on March 25th, 2023 in collaboration with KVK SKUAST-Jammu Poonch. Majority of the population residing in this border district of Jammu & Kashmir are Pahari speaking tribals and the area is famous for Poonch Rajma, painted mothi, coarse paddy etc. One hundred and fifty (150) farmers including women from the villages of Nangali, Bhaincah, Chandak, Khanetar, Kojra, Jhullas, Mangnar and others Panchayats participated in the programme. Scientists from the station (Dr. Susheel Kumar Raina & Dr. sheikh M Sultan) and from KVK Poonch (Dr Ajay Gupta Sr. Scientist & Head, Dr. Muzaffar Ahmad Mir & Dr Mushtaq Ahmad Gooro) interacted with the farmers about values, importance, need for protection and promotion of local Plant Genetic Resources e.g. Poonch Rajma, painted mothi, coarse paddy, garlic, indigenous maize and vegetables and their relevance to livelihood and nutritional security of local population especially under prevailing climatic uncertainties. Two local knowledgeable tribal farmers also spoke during the event in their local language and hailed ICAR-NBPGR for organizing awareness programme in their area. During the event farmers displayed crop diversity maintained in their fields and cash prizes were awarded to the best displays for encouragement. Farmer kits of tarpaulin sheets for multipurpose agricultural use and vegetable seed packets were distributed among all the 150 participant farmers. Refreshment packets were also distributed among the farmers. On the occasion pamphlets in Hindi regarding mandate and activities of ICAR-NBPGR in general and ICAR-NBPGR RS Srinagar in particular and highlighting the significance of millets during this “International Year of Millets” were distributed among the farmers. The event was given wide coverage by the local electronic and print media and news item on the event was telecast by two national TV channels also.
(Source : Dr Sheikh M Sultan, ICAR-NBPGR, RS Srinagar)