A summer training was organized at ICAR-VPKAS, Almora for twenty B.Sc (Ag) students of Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi during 07 to 10 May 2019. The training was inaugurated on 07.05.19 at the experimental farm, ICAR-VPKAS, Hawalbagh by Dr. Arunava Pattanayak, Director, ICAR-VPKAS, Almora. A brief introduction was given through a short film on ICAR-VPKAS and visit to the museum at Hawalbagh. The training included lectures on hill agriculture coupled with hands-on training and exposure visits.
On the first day of training, there were 3 lectures and visit to laboratories and museum at Almora campus. The trainees enjoyed visit to Almora Bajar got a firsthand experience of local market and marketing avenues.
The second day started early morning 6 AM with a trekking to Sun Temple at Kosi Katarmal and breakfast at the banks of Kosi River. The students were explained about the relationship of religion and agriculture. At breakfast, the students got on exposure on the status of rainfed Hill River, its flora and fauna.
In house training started at 10 AM with 4 interesting lectures and a visit to the workshop for exposing them to the small implements and equipments used in hill agriculture. They were exposed to the ergonomic studies for making the equipments drudgery free. They were taken to VPKAS Apiary, where they had a practical knowledge on beekeeping and exposed to other non-Apis bees like leaf cutter bee, small carpenter bee and bumble bees.
The third day was a mixture of exposure visits Jageshwar watershed and visit to religious places like – Jageshwar Dham, Chitai (God of Justice) Mandir, Eco-park and Kasar Devi (forest site). The fourth day was little hectic with 4 lectures but, made interesting with video clips and interactions. Visit to G.B. Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment & Sustainable Development (GBPNIHESD), Kosi-Katarmal to expose them to the studies on climate change and environmental sustainability. The trainees took an exciting visit to Surya Kunj – an ex situ conservation and nature interpretation site of GBPNIHESD. The students were taken to an agriculturist turned entrepreneur to show them the strength of agribusiness.
On the late evening of 10.05.19, a valedictory function was arranged with experience sharing and certificate distribution by Dr. Lakshmi Kant, Head Crop Improvement Division and Dr. Nirmal Chandra, the course director. All the arrangements were made by Dr. J. Stanley, Dr. Dibakar Mahanta and Dr. Vijay Singh Meena, scientists and training coordinators of this particular training programme. The whole ICAR-VPKAS got refreshed from its routine scientific research by having these students for four days and exchanging thoughts and ideas freely. The students were highly cooperative, well behaved and great learners.