“Our vision is to be the best and be an internationally renowned institute in horticulture management and training by providing the best knowledge and cutting edge technology with the trend setting courses and teaching techniques,” aver Dr. Sangita Ladha.
Horticulture Training Center (HTC) came into existence in 2002. HTC was set up by the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) in technical and financial collaboration with the Practical Training Center (PTC+), The Netherlands and the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO), respectively.
HTC was set up to provide customized practical training programs in horticulture, bridging the gap between theory and practice through innovative practical programs, and enable Indian agriculture to be more competitive in the global market. The objective was to improve the living standards of the Indian farming community by achieving higher quality yields at a minimal cost of production.
“Our vision is to be the best and be an internationally renowned institute in horticulture management and training by providing the best knowledge and cutting edge technology with the trend setting courses and teaching techniques,” aver Dr. Ladha.
Dr Sangita Ladha is the Director of HTC. She is an M-tech (Agril. Engg) from IIT Kharagpur and is also doctorate in Agril. Development (topic: “Export Scenario of Floriculture Products from India”). Dr. Ladha also underwent advanced technical training in the field of protected cultivation at PTC +, The Netherlands and on pressurized irrigation at CINADCO, Israel. “I have worked in marketing of drip and sprinkler irrigation systems with the leading corporate companies such as Jain Irrigation and Finolex Plastro before joining HTC in 2002,” she says. HCT is located at a distance of 35 km from Pune, in the Talegaon-Dabhade town.
The objectives behind setting up of HTC include the following: · Serve as a major demonstration cum training center and offer courses that are practical in nature and intended to train personnel in the areas related with commercial horticulture and promoting agricultural entrepreneurship.
· Imparting knowledge and skills in growing, processing and value addition of horticultural crops that are relevant to the needs of the market. · Providing market intelligence and quick information dissemination mechanism for farmers, entrepreneurs, extension workers, teachers and students of agricultural universities, farm managers, financial institutes, and skilled labors. · Demonstrating advanced horticultural technology for the promotion of entrepreneurship in horticulture
· Providing overall insight in technical aspects of growing tropical and subtropical horticulture crops. Upgrading managerial and technical skills in major aspects related to modern crop, water and fertilizer management strategies.
HTC was set up with a total estimated project cost of Rs.12 crores, of which FMO has given a grant-in-aid to the tune of Rs. 4 crores, with the rest of the project funding from MSAMB and other sources. The PTC+, a leading international training institute, is engaged in operational guidance of the training center, and providing technical advice and teaching support.
“We are elated to mention, that this institute is first of its kind, not only in India, but also in Asia which has started imparting practical training on all aspects of growing various types of flowers, vegetables and raising of nursery, plant propagation under poly-houses and on dry flowers and plant parts,” says Dr. Ladha. “A strong in-house faculty, who has also undergone an intense training in The Netherlands, supports the center. We have been conducting training programs for the trainees from 26 different states,” she adds.
She further informs, “HTC has been awarded first prize for the best institute in Agril. Entrepreneurship and for being able to attract trainees from nearly 30 states and neighboring countries like Bhutan, Srilanka and Pakistan by Vasantrao Naik Agricultural Foundation, Mumbai.”
Activities of the Center
The main activities of the centre involve the following: · Imparting practical training in Hi-tech horticulture.
· Conducting workshops on hi-tech horticulture – greenhouse technology all over the country. · Providing technical consultancy on all aspects of growing from plantation to harvesting in case of any cultivation under protected conditions.
· Undertaking turnkey consultancy for the government and public sector companies.
· Preparing bankable project reports for any horticulture project and appraising the same. · Propagating quality tissue culture plants which shall showcase advanced horticultural technology for further commercialization.
[hidepost] Research Activity
The center is involved in exchange and transfer of knowledge in modern hi-tech horticulture systems by interacting with the industry to create self-sustaining and prosperous agricultural community. “We are only into applied research and as such the institute keeps a track of research and new developments in this sector taking place at national and international level and extension of the same is done by organizing workshops and seminars by also inviting experts in the field from abroad,” maintains Dr. Ladha.
HTC is imparting practical training and providing expert counsel, innovative ideas and cost reduction techniques in all subjects from crop production to marketing of produce, with a training concept of “Learning by Doing” in protected and open-field cultivation of flowers, vegetables, and fruits. The trainees have free hand at all the latest machinery and equipment allowing them to experiment with plants. “Our top priority is ‘Total Experience for the Trainees’,” avers Dr. Ladha.
“The trainings are imparted in small groups at our in-house ultra modern facility with trainees essentially working in the farm/greenhouses. The experts and trainees together form a strong network of knowledge, where not just transfer of knowledge takes place, but new knowledge is developed,” she adds.
HTC is offering one/two-day, one-week and one-month training programs throughout the year, specifically designed to suit the needs of the farmers, entrepreneurs, extension workers, teachers and students of agricultural universities, farm managers, financial institutions and skilled labors. “To enroll one self for these training programs there is no educational prerequisite, which makes our programs readily accessible to the literate as well as the illiterate farming community of the nation,” says Dr. Ladha.
Practical Training Program
HTC offers practical and focused training on Hi-tech Horticulture – Greenhouse Technology. “The capital investment for setting up of projects for growing of flowers and vegetables under protected conditions needs high capital investment. It is therefore essential for an entrepreneur who are mainly farmers to have a complete techno-commercial information before venturing in this sector,” says Dr. Ladha.
The one week (5 days) residential practical training courses offered at the center are the following: · General Greenhouse Management · Automation in Protected Cultivation · Cultivation of Flowers, Fillers and Greens · Plant Propagation and Nursery Management · Specialized Courses on following crops: · Rose Cultivation · Gerbera and Carnation Cultivation · Orchid and Anthurium Cultivation · Capsicum and Tomato Cultivation · Marketing of Horticulture Produce. · Organic Farming · Tissue Culture
New Long Term Courses
HTC is starting with MBA in Agril. Marketing from June 2009. “Again this is going to be very unique as the course shall be developed in collaboration with international institutes with complete focus on value chain management and on national and international trading and markets for agricultural produce,” maintains Dr. Ladha.
The faculty at HTC consists of techno-commercial professionals having practical experience in the field of protected cultivation and has undergone training in the Netherlands in various fields of horticulture. “We believe that imparting training can only be made possible if cemented by the best practices, faculty, and infrastructure,” maintains Dr. Ladha. Two long-term Dutch experts also form a part of this team and are present at the center providing value addition to the Indian faculty.
Dr.Sangita Ladha, Director
Horticulture Training Center
S. N. 398-400, Next to CRPF Campus, Pune-Mumbai Highway,
Talegaon Dabhade,Tal. Maval,
Dist. Pune – 410 506. (M.S.) India
Telefax : + 91 02114 – 223980,226087
E-mail : email@example.com
Web : http://www.htcindia.org [/hidepost]