Friday, February 25, 2011



"India needs innovative tools, techniques, and technologies to meet the projected requirement of 276 million tonnes of foodgrains by 2021. Indo-US workshop on 'Precision agricultural techniques and technologies (PATT) 2011,' being organized at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) from February 28- March 3, can go a long way in helping achieve this projected goal," stated PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Manjit Singh Kang, President, National Organizing Committee of the Workshop. PAU in collaboration with Colorado State University, Indo-US Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) and India Science and Technology Partnership (INSTP) is organizing the four-day workshop.

Describing precision agriculture, Dr Kang said that it is the art and science of using advanced, innovative, cutting-edge, site-specific techniques and technologies to manage spatial and temporal variability in farm fields to enhance productivity, efficiency and profitability of agricultural production systems. He added that while the USA has been involved in precision agriculture for more than 20 years, it is still in its infancy in countries like India. Referring to the workshop, Dr Kang elaborated that it aims at gaining the understanding of India's agricultural production opportunities and constraints by the entire team of precision agricultural experts from the USA and elsewhere; sharing of current "state-of-the-art" knowledge by the US experts on the precision agriculture techniques and technologies and their potential adaptation to India's production conditions; publishing a report documenting the latest technological evolution of precision agriculture in the USA and how precision agriculture can relate to Indian agriculture; developing a web-portal with information, interests and expertise of all participants for efficient networking; and forming joint teams of US and Indian scientists to prepare research and educational proposals, which should provide a platform for working together on collaborative projects.

Giving an overview, Dr PPS Lubana, Chairman, Local Organising Committee, said that Holly Higgins, Minister Counselor, Agricultural Affairs, US Embassy, New Delhi, will be the chief guest while Dr Newell Kitchen, Scientist, USDA-ARS, Columbia and President American Society of Agronomy, USA, will be the guest of honour. Dr Kang will preside over the function. The inauguration ceremony will take place at Jacob Hall, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, PAU, at 2.30 pm, informed Dr Lubana.

He elaborated that the workshop involves the participation of twelve international experts from various universities and USDA research units from across the US and fifteen experts from different parts of India (faculty members from several State Agricultural Universities, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) research units, government agencies such as National Remote Sensing Agency' and various agricultural industries).

Dr Lubana added that the workshop would provide an opportunity to the various international authorities to interact, discuss, prioritize and identify areas where there is mutual interest for collaboration.

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