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The Indian Council of Agricultural Research established the National Research Centre for Arid Horticulture (NRCAH) on 1st April, 1993 in 125 hectare area at Beechwal, Bikaner, Rajasthan.

Date: 30th January, 2024 to 19th February, 2024)
Sponsored by- Indian Council of Agricultural Research New Delhi-110 012
Organized by- ICAR-Central Institute for Arid Horticulture, Bikaner-334 006.
Place: ICARCIAH, Bikaner.

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research established the National Research Centre for Arid Horticulture (NRCAH) on 1st April, 1993 in 125 hectare area at Beechwal, Bikaner, Rajasthan. After dreaming of the progress made by NRCAH in a miniature span of time and the forthcoming needs of the nation, on 27th September, 2000, the NRCAH was promoted to the Central Institute for Arid Horticulture, Bikaner (ICARCIAH). Under the agies of ICAR-CIAH; one Central Horticultural Experiment Station (CHES), Vejalpur, Gujarat and one Krishi Vighyan Kendra situated at Vejalpur in Panchmahals district of Gujarat are functioning. The institute is conserving a wide range of diversity of more than 50 arid horticultural crops and acting as a treasure trove of several lesser-known crops having horticulture significance. So far the institute has developed 29 improved varieties of fruit crops and 39 of vegetable crops to cater the needs of farmers and stakeholders. The institute has come out with several pro-farmer production, protection and post-harvest management technologies for dry land horticulture. ICAR-CIAH is coordinating the research on arid horticultural crops at 18 centers situated in 10 states as PC Unit of AICRP on Arid Zone fruits.

Course Background
In India, the arid region covers an extensive area of 39.54 million hectares, which includes 31.71 million hectares characterized by hot climate conditions, primarily found in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, Punjab, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh.

Additionally, there are 7.83 million hectares with cold climate characteristics, situated in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. The arid region faces a variety of environmental challenges, including extreme fluctuation in temperature, unpredictable rainfall pattern, frequent drought coupled with sandy soil having low nutrient content and water retention capacity. Indigenous and adapted crop species in the hot arid zone have developed unique traits for tolerating both abiotic and biotic stresses in response to changing climatic conditions.

These arid horticultural crop species, besides being climate-resilient, offer significant potential to enhance nutritional and livelihood security in arid and semi-arid regions through the use of improved cultivars and appropriate technologies. ICAR-CIAH, Bikaner, CHES and AICRP-AZF centers have developed several climate resilient varieties as well as farmer friendly technologies on production, protection and value addition which tailored for arid and semi-arid environments. The interventions of developed innovative technologies are proving to be beneficial for farmers and stakeholders of arid and semi-arid regions of the country. In this context, the training program aims to provide an appropriate platform to the participants to familiarize themselves with technological advancements. Further, the program will enable the participants to assist the farmers and stakeholders for enhancing their income and livelihood through modern approaches.

Applicants should be Post Graduate in any branch of Horticultural Science/ Agriculture working in the Horticultural field and not below the rank of Scientist/ Assistant Professor or equivalent in the concerned subject under the NARS or SAUs. A maximum of 25 participants will be selected for the course by the screening committee as per the ICAR guidelines. The decision of the selection committee will be final and no correspondence in this regard will be entertained for non-selected candidates.

The climate remains pleasant during February. The minimum temperature is about 17°C. Candidates are advised to bring winter clothes for a comfortable stay.

Participants will be paid travel fare to and fro by the shortest route restricted to the maximum of AC-II tier fair excluding Rajdhani/ Shatabdi Express as per the norms and guidelines of ICAR. Participants are required to produce receipts/ tickets in support of their claim. Travel by air will not be permitted to participants
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