Sudhir Chadha


Sudhir Chadha is the recipient of the National Most Innovative Farmer Award, 1991. He was awarded this title by Former Prime Minister of India. He has been the ex-board member at the GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology. He is well known in the country for development of Hybrid/Dwarf Papaya variety. In the last seven years, moreover, he has established Successful demonstration orchard with high-density, yield & early bearing fruit which can change the Apple Fruit production Scenario in to compete with the Imported Apple fruit coming from China, New Zeeland & USA, Turkey.


Kindly share with us the story of your association with Dr. Tolia. What influence did he have on you as a person?

Long before the inception of his journey as the CS of the state I was associated with Dr. Tolia. To refresh the association of Dr. Tolia and I we will have to go long back to the year 1991 when it all freshly started. It is when he visited us and inspected the activities that had been undertaken for the welfare of the environment, that he showed his umpteen delight. Not only did he appreciate our work but even inspired us with his own to do even better. Moreover, important is to note that had it not been for Dr. Tolia I would not have been convinced to become a social entrepreneur instead of just a simple entrepreneur. Even my working process had transformed ever since then.

You happen to be one of the few initial people who tried their hands in social entrepreneurship. It has although become a significant trend among the young minds now, but is it fair for them to expect huge monetary rewards in exchange?

Our initiative towards Horticulture development back then was not led by technocrats but bureaucrats who were far away from practicality as they never truly experienced horticulture or walked on the fields. I perceive horticulture as a tremendous opportunity for the youngsters of today. Nevertheless, it also depends on geographical factors as an entrepreneur working in Himachal is likely to earn way more than that working in Uttarakhand. The quantity of input although remains identical but the product comes double which is what marks the difference of profitability.

You are also known to be in association with the GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology. It is remembered as one of the top universities that students of agriculture could be seen aspiring for years ago. What according to you is the scenario now?

I am not going to sugarcoat in any way to embellish the reputation of the university. I would, thus, confess that the performance of the GB Pant University has deteriorated owing to the antiquated study material it supports even 50 years after its discovery. Provided that the world is rapidly changing and is in a spree of introducing better ways of dealing with same old problems, I am afraid that the techniques of the GB Pant University have become redundant. Secondly, they have grown too comfortable working in their old traditions of practical work that they now find it almost impossible to remodel themselves to fit into the changing cocoon of the advance world.

Do you believe that agriculture is not taken seriously at the school level which is why the knowledge of students is nil?

Unless a subject is made to look interesting to a student, he will not dare to venture into embarking on his higher studies based on it. School children are taught about the importance of environment but not the ways of sincerely taking care of it. They are, unfortunately, not presented with a certain path to materialise their care for the environment, let alone they being exposed to the use of important articles like pesticides or insecticides.

What are you looking forward to in the Art and Literature festival, Valley of Words?

I believe that this specific session at the festival is not only a tribute to Dr. Tolia for his commendable contributions to the soil but also to those who are truly passionate towards the progress of the mountains. I am expecting an intelligent conference of people who would come to share their unbiased thoughts which they do not get to discuss otherwise, except for inside some coffee houses. I am, hence, looking forward to a liberal conversation among many learned people at the Valley of Words festival.

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