Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Ludhiana, March 8-----

Inaugurating the first Kisan Mela of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) at Rauni (Patiala) today, S. Surjeet Singh Rakhra, Chairman, District Planning Board, Patiala said that PAU has been doing a great service for the farmers of Punjab. The contributions of the university have been well recognized by the farmers who visit Kisan Melas with great enthusiasm. They have great faith in the varieties and technologies developed by the PAU farm scientists. He congratulated the PAU scientists for their excellent work which has earned the university "Krishi Shiksha Samaan – 2011" at National level, recently.

Addressing the large gathering of farmers, S. Rakhra said that to make the farming more profitable, farmers must conserve expenditure on farm inputs. Excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers not only add to the cost of cultivation but is also harmful for the soil and the environment. He urged the farmers for optimum use of resources as per university's recommendations. He congratulated the PAU scientists for their efforts in making farming more profitable. S. Rakhra described it a good sign that more and more girls are coming in agricultural education. He said that for social progress, harmonious living is a must.

Presiding over the mela, PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr. Manjit Singh Kang informed that the university has been given a special grant of Rs. 18.33 crore to work on wheat genome. This is a matter of great pride and will go a long way in promoting biotech research to develop better wheat varieties, he said. Offering greetings to the women on the occasion of International Women's Day, Dr. Kang expressed satisfaction over the fact that a large number of women have come to participate in the Kisan mela. The increased participation of women in farming will give a great boost to the agriculture in the state, he remarked.

Dr. Kang also spoke on climate change which he said has become a major concern for the entire world today. A mild change in the climate can adversely affect the agricultural productivity thereby affecting the five human domains of food, water, energy, shelter and health. He warned that undesirable agricultural losses in the developing countries like India will be more drastic as a large population is engaged in agriculture. He informed that PAU has taken a lead to address concerns of climate change. An International Workshop on climate change was recently organized by PAU to deliberate on this issue.

PAU's Director of Research Dr. S.S. Gosal, while highlighting the research achievements of the university informed that till date PAU has developed 695 varieties of different crops. Besides, the production and protection technologies have also been evolved. He informed that the future thrust in research is to develop varieties which require less water and fertilizer and at the same are resistant to pests.

A special Guest on this occasion was Dr. B.S. Ahluwalia, a former student of the university and internationally acclaimed scientist from Vienna, Austria. He congratulated the university for getting coveted "Shiksha Samaan Award". He said that the establishment of "School of Biotechnology" and "School of Information Technology" at PAU will give a big boost to the biotech research at the university.

Earlier, welcoming the Chief Guest and farmers, the Director of Extension Education Dr. M.S. Gill stressed upon efficient water use. He said that water is a crucial input for farming and must be used very wisely. He urged the farmers to adopt techniques which conserve water and soil resources. Dr. Gill also urged the farmers to adopt diversification. He informed that the university has been promoting the cultivation of Basmati rice and Spring maize to promote diversification in the state. He suggested that pulses should be included in the cropping pattern as it helps enhance soil health besides ensuring profitability.

Dr. Gill said that Kisan Melas are organized in different parts of the state to spread the new farm technologies. He informed that this year, for the first time, a Kisan Mela will also be organized at KVK, Faridkot on March 10. Besides, Kisan Melas will be held at Ballowal Saunkhri on March 11; at Bhatinda on March 14; at PAU on March 17-18; and at Gurdaspur on March 22.

Additional Director of Communication Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman urged the farmers to maintain a constant liason with the university through farm literature and monthly farm magazines. Farmers showed keen interest in the demonstration plots and the new seeds. Farmers purchased about 350 quintals of seeds of different varieties. Farm experts from different disciplines addressed to the queries of the farmers. The proceedings of the mela were broadcast live by All India Radio, Patiala.

Dr. G.P.S. Sodhi, Deputy Director, KVK, Patiala proposed vote of thanks.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

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