An international conference on neem-cultivation currently underway in Kashi Vidyapith in Varanasi has recognized IFFCO’s MD Dr U S Awasthi’s contribution in the field of neem-cultivation across the country and the august body bestowed on him “Neem Ratna Award 2018” on Thursday.
The award was received by IFFCO Marketing Director Yogendra Kumar on behalf of Dr Awasthi. The Vice-Chancellor Prof T N Singh of Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith University gave away the award.
On this occasion, the campaign for neem-plantation launched by IFFCO was praised by the participants. According to an estimate, IFFCO has planted about 20 lakh neem trees so far. In the first year of the campaign alone, more than 10.4 lakh neem trees were planted.
IFFCO has been active in tree-plantation for a long time with its Managing Director Dr U S Awasthi urging upon everyone to plant at least one tree and dedicating themselves to upholding the ecological balance in the world.
IFFCO’s arm Indian Farm Forestry Development Cooperative (IFFDC) has already been active encouraging tree plantation to improve the living conditions of rural poor through sustainable Natural Resource Management by collective action.
On the research front of neem-cultivation, IFFCO has contributed massively by funding a project in the Forest Research Institute with an aim to develop a new quick yielding strain of the neem. Reports indicate that the project has come up with fascinating results with a possibility of changing the whole dimension of the neem-growth story.
Earlier, in April 2018 Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Parshottam Rupala bestowed a “Letter of Appreciation” on behalf of Agro Input Dealers Association on Dr Awasthi for his contributions in neem-plantation in the presence of Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, among others.
It may not be out of place to mention here that Awasthi was also chosen for Inamdar Award which was bestowed on him recently at Pushkar by Sahakar Bharati-RSS leaning cooperative body.
Barring perhaps Prime Minister Narendra Modi, there is hardly any minister in his Cabinet who had not been part of IFFCO’s campaign. Lending their support to the idea of neem campaign they come to plant a sapling whenever IFFCO organizes such event and request them to be part of it, says an official of IFFCO.