Himachal to partner with CSIR-IMTECH for natural farming

Shimla: Dung and urine of indigenous cows being used for Natural Farming (SPNF) in partnership with State Project Implementation Unit of Himachal Pradesh Pratikriti Kheti Khushal Kisan Yojana and Subhash Palekar Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) – Microbial Technology, Chandigarh Microbial study of

SPNF is a non-chemical, low-cost, climate-resilient farming technology, which is being promoted under Pratikriti Kheti Khushal Kisan Yojana since its launch in 2018.

It recommends the use of dung and urine of indigenous cow breeds as key components for enhancing soil fertility and protecting plants.

Himachal Pradesh government has given financial assistance to the farmers of the state for the purchase of 1,000 indigenous cows. Cow dung harbors a rich microbial diversity, various species of bacteria, protozoa and yeast that play an important role in promoting plant growth and plant protection. The use of cow dung bacteria can mobilize nutrients in addition to contributing to sustainable agriculture.

A team of scientists led by CSIR Director Sanjeev Khosla was in Shimla this week to visit farms where natural farming techniques are being followed.

The team visited an apple orchard in Moolberi village of Totu block and a vegetable grower practicing natural farming at a polyhouse in Kora village of Mashobra block of Shimla district.

He interacted with the farmers and project officers and also took note of the basic concept of natural farming, its formulation and methodology and impact on farming and production and farmers’ economy.

Veterinary Officer Sushil Sood said, an MoU will be signed soon between the Himachal Pradesh government and CSIR-IMTECH.

Collaborative research with IMTECH proposes to isolate a range of bacteria from indigenous cow dung, followed by their identification and preliminary screening in the context of key fertility-enhancing components in natural farming practices, he said.

He said, the action plan is aimed at extraction, amplification, cloning and sequencing of microbial DNA from fresh cow dung, evaluation of microbial diversity and quantity in preparations such as Beejamrut, Jeevamrut and Ghanivamrut, so that these mixtures for different agro-climatic zones. construction can be standardized.

The State Project Implementation Unit has already tied up with Agricultural Universities at Palampur and Solan to study various aspects of natural farming.

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