Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR), a unit of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has received the CSIR Award for S&T Innovations for Rural Development (CAIRD) for the year 2010 for the development of cold arid agro-animal technologies for rural development in Ladakh region.
Dr R B Srivastava, director DIHAR and Dr W Selvamurthy, chief controller of R&D (LS&IC), DRDO, received the award from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a function held here on Wednesday.
DIHAR, through its multidimensional R&D efforts has brought about qualitative and quantitative changes in agriculture, animal husbandry and cold desert flora of Ladakh. It has identified suitable varieties and developed agro-practices of 78 types of vegetables and 30 types of high altitude medicinal and aromatic plants to boost local production in cold desert region of Ladakh, an official release said today.
DIHAR has developed and successfully commercialised seabuckthorn products. The seabuckthorn berries had no commercial value in Ladakh region till the year 2001. However, after setting up the first seabuckthorn processing unit in Leh, seabuckthorn collection is taken as an important activity and additional source of income for farmers.
The contribution of DIHAR has helped enhance the availability of fresh foods such as vegetables, fruits, milk, meat, eggs, supplementary herbal products and medicinal and aromatic plants to troops through local farmers in Ladakh, which has helped Ladakh achieve self-sufficiency.