He stresses the need for a comprehensive, integrated approach to farm sciences

Eminent fisheries scientist C. Vasudevappa assumed charge as the first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences (UAHS), Shimoga, here on Monday. The UAHS was established in September 2012 and Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Chitradurga, Kodagu, Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Davangere districts come under its purview.

Speaking to presspersons, Dr. Vasudevappa said the university could emerge as a centre for integrated and comprehensive learning of farm sciences if the Veterinary College, Shimoga and College of Fisheries, Mangalore, were brought under its purview. A proposal would be submitted to the State government in this regard, he said.

He stressed the need to develop a comprehensive and integrated approach to farm sciences.

Farmers in rural India were engaged in allied activities such as cattle rearing, poultry farming and pisciculture. It was not right to establish separate universities for agriculture, horticulture, animal husbandry and fisheries. The needs of farmers could be served in a better manner by establishing integrated universities where study and research on these activities were taken up under a single roof, he said.

Dr. Vasudevappa said he would give priority to providing basic infrastructure for the university. At present, the UAHS was functioning in the Agriculture College building at Navile on a 185-acre campus.

He said that at least 500 acres was required and that a committee comprising senior professors would be formed to identify the land required.

He said he would meet Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Kagodu Thimmappa to discuss the issue.

He said he would request Mr. Thimmappa to apprise the government on the need to allot land for the UAHS at the earliest.

‘Aware of problems’

Dr. Vasudevappa, who hails from Esur village in Shikaripur taluk, said that he was aware of the problems faced by farmers here. Soil fertility had come down because paddy farmers in Shimoga and Davangere districts used excess chemicals inputs.

The UAHS would conduct programmes regularly to promote sustainable farming. Farmers would also be trained on adopting scientific water management practices, he said.

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