ICAR-IIHR organized its 54th institute foundation day on September11, 2020 by following COVID-19 standard operating procedures which was also webcasted through YouTube. The programme started with ICAR and IIHR theme songs, followed by invocation by IARI-IIHR Ph.D. students. In the inaugural address Dr. Anand Kumar Singh, Deputy Director General (Hort. Sci.), ICAR, New Delhi conveyed best wishes to all the staff, appreciated IIHR’s contribution in terms of varieties and technologies developed, transfer of technology in terms of economic gain and also suggested the future line of work like value addition, transfer of technology through reliable package of practices to farmers to cater export and trade demands in horticultural sector. He also recalled the reference of Dragonfruit cultivation in Prime minister’s Mann Ki Bath and stressed that the expectations from Horticultural sector is rising and need to evolve ecologically sustainable system to cater the growing needs. In his introductory remarks Dr. M.R. Dinesh, Director, ICAR-IIHR elaborated various activities and events organized during the past year. He referred about renovation of canteen facilities, release of various varieties and technologies like immunity boosting biofortified drinks, Arka Herbiwash for removal of pesticide residues and launch of IIHR seed portal and linking of IIHR seed portal with SBI YONO Krishi App wherein sale of seeds increased to Rs. 45 lakhs in mere four months. He also made a mention of success of National Horticulture fair-2020 which has witnessed an increasing reach of IIHR technologies nationwide benefitting more than 35000 farmers and stakeholders. Later on, video on ‘NHF-2020’ and ‘Success story of ICAR-IIHR’ played for the information of all participants.
Comprehensive and eloquent foundation day lecture on “Conservation of orchids and its cultivation in home gardens of Bengaluru” by Dr.K.S. Shashidhar, Former Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Chief Wildlife warden, Nagaland Forest Department enthralled all the participants by covering botanical features, growth habits, economic importance and conservation of orchids and factors to be considered for its cultivation in the home gardens of Bengaluru condition. E-module for online training on production of quality mushroom spawn was released on the occasion.
As a mark of respect and admiration for fighting Covid-19 pandemic on the frontline by putting their lives at risk to keep citizens safe, thirty-one Covid warriors including police officers from Bengaluru North, medical officer and staff of Primary Health Center, Ivarakhandapura and IIHR Staff were felicitated by the Chief guest and Director during this event. They were felicitated with a citation and IIHR complementary hamper which included Vegetable seed kit, Flower seed kit, Osmo dehydrated fruits, Amla squash, Arka Jackies, Arka Jackolite and Immune-boosting herbal plants Amruthaballi and Centella.
The session was followed by the distribution of Best Farmers, Best Staff and Best teacher awards by the Chief Guest and the Director. Best Farmer award was given to Mr. Manjunath, Doddamanchi Village, Krishnagiri District, Tamil Nadu, Dr. P. V. Srinivas, Chickballapur, and Mr. N. Hanumantharaju of Bengaluru. Mr. N. Jayaramaiah and Mr. D.N. Jagadeesh Kumar in Technical, Mr. Syed Rabbani in Administration and Mr. Venkataramanappa D., Mrs. H.L. Lalitha, Mr. Anjanappa K., and Mr. Siddappa V. in Skilled Support Staff Categories bagged the Best staff awards in their respective sections. Dr. S. Sriram, Principal Scientist, Division of Plant Protection was felicitated with Best Teacher Award. The programme also included a small cultural event wherein Dr.V.K. Jayaraghavendra Rao, Principal Scientist, Division of Social Sciences and Training entertained the audience with his nostalgic songs.
In his virtual address Dr. Vikramadithya Pandey, Assistant Director General I/C - Hort. I, ICAR, New Delhi congratulated the staff on Institute foundation day and conveyed his best wishes for future endeavors. In his address, Dr. K.M. Indiresh, Vice Chancellor, University Horticulture Sciences, Bagalkote and Chief guest of the program appreciated the various varieties and technologies released by the Institute which were largely adopted by the farming community for longer period. He also emphasized the impact of commercialization of technologies by various extension activities and by using digital technologies. He also desired for further collaboration of UHS, Bagalkote with IIHR in research and teaching for the betterment of students and farming community. Dr. G.R. Smitha, Nodal Officer, Sports and Staff Welfare Committee proposed vote of thanks to all who were involved in successfully organizing the Institute foundation day. Scientists and staff of IIHR, retiree staff and other participants joined the program through webcasting link of YouTube.