Experts from New Zealand provided training on setting up and management of high density orchards to officers of the horticulture department as well as farmers of Himachal Pradesh. The Institutional Master Trainers training was conducted by the international expert from the New Zealand Plant Food And Research (NZPFR) Limited under the World Bank-funded HP Horticulture Development Project, said a release issued here on Friday.
Experts from New Zealand Steph Montgomery, Programme Manager; Jack Hughes- Plant Physiologist; Mike Nelson, Nutrition expert; and David Manktelow, Plant Protection shared the detailed information regarding technical know-how on orchard renovation, fungicides and biocontrol.
Lessons were also given on key factors for nutrient management, growing system for Himachal Pradesh, disease risk and management, physiological disorders, growing Gala & Fuji, soils assessment and nitrate testing spray application, training and pruning.
Main objective of hiring the experts is strengthening the implementation capacities of the department of horticulture and farmers and improvement in productivity of apple fruit crops by dissemination of relevant information and advanced technology for establishment of high and medium density orchards and scientific management of existing orchards, the release added.
Horticulture and Tribal Development Minister Jagat Singh Negi and Chief Parliamentary Secretary Mohan Lal Brakta distributed master trainer certificates to as many as 30 officers and 25 farmers at Mashobra. So far, the New Zealand experts have trained about 500 technical officers and 4000 farmers by giving institutional and hands-on training on various aspects like canopy management, crop load management, tree nutrition, trunk girdling, bending, notching, new orchard planting, irrigation management, insect and disease management.
The officers are being trained as Master Trainer and have already been imparted three rounds of training. All these officers were actively involved during the field demonstrations, the release said.