Message From the Desk of Dean

Prof. Parmendra Prasad Dabral
Dean, CAEPHT, Sikkim
Central Agricultural University, Imphal
North-Eastern (NE) Region consisting of the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura has been gifted by the nature with tremendous biodiversity and widely varying agro-climatic conditions. Though, the region has vast potential for the development of agriculture and allied vocations, its hilly terrain offers a great challenge for its optimum and sustainable utilization. Furthermore, there are some other hazards like an increasing shortage of farm labourers, reluctance of the youths to join farming as profession, dependence on elderly people and women in farming, lack of farm income and employment in rural areas, unattractive returns to producers, drudgery, dependability on rain water for irrigation, non-availability of water during rabi season etc. But on the other hand, the very high potential of organic farming as practiced in Sikkim and the other NEH states has opened new avenues of high profitability and agro industrial development. These have necessitated importance of applications of agricultural engineering including post harvest technological interventions in NEH region.

Agricultural Engineering as a discipline of learning imparts knowledge with respect to (a) efficient management of natural resources viz. soil, water, and energy, (b) farm mechanization and (c) post-harvest technologies/processing and value addition. Farm mechanization implies the use of efficient farm power sources and improved tools, equipment and machineries both in production and processing agriculture, for timely and precise inputs, combined effects of which resulted in enhanced production, productivity and profitability with least or no drudgery and reduced post harvest losses with an added advantage of enhanced income and employment generation.

College of Agricultural Engineering and Post Harvest Technology (CAEPHT), Gangtok was established by Central Agricultural University (CAU), Imphal in 2006 with broad objectives of developing trained human resources in the discipline of Agricultural Engineering and Post Harvest Technology and also to address the issues of conducting need based region specific agricultural engineering and post harvest technology related research issues as well as to undertake related extension educational activities for the benefit of all stake holders. Initially, one degree programme i.e. B. Tech. in Agricultural Engineering was started. At present there are ten degree programme (two B. Tech, five M. Tech and three Ph.D.) are running in six departments of the college. Foreign students are also nominated in this college by Government of India since 2017. At present, one student from Tanzania is pursuing M. Tech. in Farm Machinery and Power Engineering. The college has dynamic curriculum at par with best in the country, qualified and dedicated faculty, supportive staff and excellent infrastructure, the college is preferred destination of top ranking students of the NE states.

During the first decade of its establishment, we developed impressive infrastructure, produced about 212 highly performing graduates and post graduates, trained more than 4000 farmers, entrepreneurs and extension education functionaries and delivered more than 30 location specific technologies. About 33 externally funded research projects are successfully completed so far. At present four All India Coordinated Research Projects (AICRPs) funded by Indian Council of Agricultural Research are being run in the college. In addition to this, the Department of Agricultural Cooperation and Farmers’ Welfare (DOAC) has sponsored establishment of Farm Equipment & Machinery Testing Centre for testing the farm equipment in NEH region. The present outstanding state of the CAEPHT is due to well-planned efforts made by the learned Authorities of Department of Agricultural Research and Education (DARE), Govt. of India, guided by the esteemed Vice-Chancellors of Central Agricultural University, Imphal, Manipur executed by the dynamic faculty of CAEPHT with dedicated support of its non-teaching staff, active participation of students and well-wishes of one and all including the local communities of Sikkim. The support of state govt. of Sikkim has always there been as a catalyst. We are also having MOUs with research, teaching and skill development organizations.

The challenges of 2030 are expected to be complex and diverse in nature with ever-rising expectations of stake holders, and therefore we should be well-prepared to accept new challenges and turn them into opportunities and create success stories in our mandated disciplines. In order to emerge as a Centre of Excellence in teaching, Centre of Advanced Studies in research and Centre of Model Extension Education, the vision 2030 document of CAEPHT has been prepared. The document narrates the operating environment, discusses SWOT, identifies targets and suggests the way forward in light of strategic frame work or road map to achieve the targets of becoming a Centre of Excellence, Advanced Studies, and Model Extension Education in the Discipline of Agricultural Engineering and Post Harvest Technology located in NEH region.

We are thankful to Prof. M. Premjit Singh, Hon'ble Vice-Chancellor, Central Agricultural University, Imphal, Manipur for kind help and guidance. We are thankful to all the funding organizations for their support and encouragement. We also acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of all our colleagues in imparting knowledge and developing the facilities and creating success stories in this college.

(Prof. P. P. Dabral)