LEH: Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, Brigadier (Dr) BD Mishra (Retd) and First Lady Neelam Mishra inaugurated the 30th Ladakhi Kisan Jawan Vigyan Mela organised by the Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) Leh at its Centre near Murtsey Colony.
Commending DIHAR for their initiatives and project works for providing green vegetables and fruits to the Indian Army round the year and providing livelihood opportunities to farmers through their technological interventions, the LG expressed his happiness to see various indigenisation initiatives taken by DIHAR to make Ladakh self-reliant. He also expressed happiness over the production of vegetables and fruits in forward areas of Ladakh by the Indian Army using technologies introduced by DIHAR such as the Ladakh Greenhouse.
The LG highlighted different programmes being run by DIHAR aimed at Jan Bhagidhari (people’s participation) for the benefit of around 1400 farmers and entrepreneurs from Ladakh by improving their livelihood opportunities. This, he said, will not only help in the overall development of Ladakh but also the development of the country. He appreciated their cold arid agro-animal technologies and the trial being taken by them to check the feasibility of using Bactrian (double-humped) camels and yaks for patrolling and load-carrying purposes.
The LG launched the project report prepared by DIHAR on Entrepreneurship Development in Agriculture and Allied Sectors in Ladakh. He distributed certificates and awards to the progressive farmers and defence personnel for taking various farming initiatives in Ladakh.
Chairman, DRDO, Dr Samir V Kamat highlighted various challenges faced by the people in a high-altitude area like Ladakh and stated that even the availability of fresh vegetables, which is a normal thing in areas such as Delhi, is a major issue for the jawans of Indian Army, especially in the winter months in Ladakh. He informed that appropriate agro-technologies, such as the Ladakh Green House, are being used by DIHAR to grow fresh vegetables and fruits in Ladakh. He also informed about the instruction issued to the DIHAR scientists to develop technologies for cold areas such as Ladakh which other companies have not been able to explore.
Dr Samir informed about the responsibility given by UT Administration to DIHAR to develop the primary sector in Ladakh. He informed that DRDO is committed to providing technological support to Ladakh to help it become an organic region.
GOC, Sub Area, Fire and Fury Corps, Major General SS Bakshi informed about various initiatives taken by DIHAR to grow and supply vegetables to the Indian Army in the winter months. He apprised LG of the 40 greenhouses being constructed in forward areas with the help of DIHAR to grow vegetables for the jawans of the Indian Army. He further informed about microgreen farming being done in forward areas to ensure that the nutritional needs of the jawans are met.
Major General Bakshi informed that 50% of the Army’s vegetable needs are met through DIHAR and local farmers. He also informed about the demand given by the Indian Army to DIHAR to provide double-humped camels to patrol and carry loads in forward areas of Ladakh. He further informed about the construction of passive solar shelters for jawans of the Indian Army in forward areas of Ladakh.
Earlier, Director, DIHAR, Dr OP Chaurasia, welcomed the guests and informed about various initiatives and technological interventions introduced by DIHAR for the benefit of farmers, the citizens of Ladakh and the jawans of the Indian Army.
Advisor to LG, Dr Pawan Kotwal; Secretary, Agriculture, Ravinder Kumar; Deputy Commissioner Leh, Santosh Sukhdeve; Vice-Chancellor, University of Ladakh, Prof SK Mehta; officials from Indian Army, ITBP, Ladakh Police; district officials; officials from DRDO-DIHAR and students from different schools were present during the event.