Wednesday, October 20, 2010



A group of Nuffield Scholars, namely Mr. Ian Duthi (Australia), Ms. Chris Ferguson (Australia), Mr. Don Madden (Australia), Mr. Steven Newman (Australia) and Mr. Bill O\' Keeffe (Ireland) visited Punjab Agricultural University, today. They also accompanied the representatives of Syngenta India Ltd., Mr. M.S.Malhi. The group met the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Manjit singh Kang and held interaction on wide ranging topics concerning Punjab Agriculture and the role of PAU toward food security of the nation. Dr. Kang welcomed them to PAU and shared the ongoing agricultural education, research and transfer of technology programmes. He elaborated that the evolution and popularization of high yielding input responsive varieties of rice and wheat coupled with matching production technologies, pro-farmer government policies, hard working peasantry were the major factors that led to the green revolution. The green revolution, on one hand helped transform the food deficit state to food sufficient one, had some downsides also. Elaborating further, he said that depleting underground water table and deteriorating soil health were the major fall outs for which the University is developing relevant technologies. Rice, which was not the crop for Punjab, became pre-dominant due to its assured marketing. The state government efforts to enforce a legislation of transplanting paddy after June 10, helped to some extent the pressure on underground water, he said. Highlighting the problem of residue management, particularly of paddy straw, Dr. Kang said that the solution lies in adopting the Happy Seeder machine which sows wheat in the stubbles of paddy and offers multiple benefits in terms of moisture conservation, residue management and weed flora reduction, etc. He discussed about the benefits of custom hiring and shared use of cost intensive equipments and machinery like laser land leveler, Happy Seeder, etc. Dr. Kang also shared his views on the growing indebtedness and related consequences among farmers for which the PAU made a study for the government.

The Nuffield Scholars belonged to different professions. Mr. Ian, a Hatchery Manager with an aquaculture company shared his views about aquaculture operations and research facilities in different countries. Ms. Ferguson was interested to know about the goat meat industry and issues concerning the sustainable management of goat herds in arid areas. Mr. Madden was keen to have an insight on the use of animal wastes to produce fuel and said that the US, Germany and India were the countries he intended to visit for this subject. Mr. Newman had interest to study automation and soil management in relation to vegetable production and said that his endeavour was to research best practices in labour saving technologies and soil management for better yields. Mr. Bill O\' Keeffe, an Irish dairy farmer was interested in agro-business and in related industries that are successfully bringing employees through the business and allowing them to become stake holders. He expressed his interest in people management and shared that his study topic is \'Growing your business through staff\'.

Those who participated in the interaction included, the PAU Registrar, Dr. R.K.Mahey, Dr. S.S.Gosal, Additional Director of Research, Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman, Additional Director of Communication and Mr. Pavittar Pal Singh Pangli, President, PAU Kisan Club. The Nuffield Scholars were presented with the dockets of information about PAU by Dr. Kang. Through a power point presentation, the organization set up and achievements of PAU were explained to the Scholars.

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