The School of Biotechnology, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, organized a Farmer-Faculty Interaction Meet in collaboration with Mr. Rajesh Gandotra, Sub Divisional Agriculture Officer (SDO), Udhampur under the ATMA Scheme with an objective to imbibe scientific knowledge among the farmers regarding the importance of medicinal plants and environmental issues of the region. A total of 75 farmers including a few village Sarpanchs from Tikri, Jib and Bediyan villages of Udhampur District participated in the programme.
The visit was coordinated by Dr. Sharada M. Potukuchi, Head, Biotechnology, Project Investigator of the Project Herbal Garden – Trikuta Hills established within the University premises in 2007 with the financial assistance received from National Medicinal Plants Board, GoI. She stressed on the need for creating awareness for cultivation and sustainable utilization of the indigenous medicinal plants of the region. During the interactive session
Dr. Preeti Sharma Asst. Prof., Biotechnology highlighted the importance of preserving biodiversity and ecosystems for the well being of the village community. She addressed the emerging health issues being faced due to water, soil and air pollution especially because of the increased use of plastic in our day-to-day life. Dr. Indu Bhushan, Asst. Prof., Biotechnology, explained the medicinal uses, importance and cultivation methods of the plant species habituated in the Garden which can be easily adopted by the local farmers for their economic benefit and further dissemination within the villages.
The visit was also attended by Mr. Joginder Singh, Agriculture Ext. Officer, Tikri; Mr. Yash Pal Gupta, Agriculture Extension Officer, Udhampur, Mr. Rajinder Singh, Agriculture Extension Assistant, Udhampur and their Staff Members. Padma Shri (Prof.) Ravindra K. Sinha, Honorable Vice Chancellor, SMVD University appreciated the efforts of School of Biotechnology and the Office of the Chief Agriculture Officer, Udhampur in this initiative. The farmers also shared experiences about the beneficial effects of medicinal plants and promised to spread the message on the role of biodiversity conservation in their fields for the protection of the environment.