Friday, March 18, 2011



The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) will be honoring four progressive farmers of Punjab with \'Chief Minister Awards\' on March 17, the first day of Kisan Mela at Ludhiana. Two farmers will get award in horticulture and two in agriculture. The awardees selected for the awards are:

S. Iqbal Singh Sidhu (Chief Minister Award in Horticulture)

For excelling in Horticulture, S. Iqbal Singh Sidhu, s/o. S. Malkit Singh Sidhu of Gumti Kalan Village ( Distt. Bathinda) has been selected for Chief Minister Award in Horticulture. S. Malkit Singh, after obtaining training in hybrid seed production of chilies and bee-keeping from Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK), Bathinda, has established himself as a progressive farmer. He has holding of 40 acres and is in agricultural profession for the last 26 years. He is a member of PAU Fruit and Vegetable Growers committee and has set up Bathinda Horticulture Association.

S. Iqbal Singh Sidhu is a regular participant in PAU Kisan Melas at Bathinda and Ludhiana and has so far bagged 40 first and second prizes in produce competition. He was honoured as a progressive fruit grower on the Republic Day, 2005 at Bathinda. S.Sidhu cultivates potatoes on 10 acres and is genuinely concerned with maintenance of soil health through using green manure, farm yard and poultry manure. He emphasizes on reducing area from under paddy and rational use of natural resources and purchased inputs. He raises vegetables on beds and recharges his fields with rain water.

He has set up his house in the farms so that he can attend to his crops. S. Sidhu uses farm machines to carry out various operations with precision and whenever needed. He has erected a permanent net house for tomatoes and bittergourd. He maintains a guava and kinnow orchard of 2 and 5 acres, respectively and handles bee keeping as added venture. He sends his vegetable produce for marketing and is known as a progressive vegetable producer. He believes that cucumber and other cucurbits, if grown under judicious use of pesticides, can fetch good market price. He advises other farmers to grade the produce well before sending to market in proper packages. He is providing employment to 20 families at his farm. S. Iqbal Singh maintains active liaison with PAU experts and is a regular reader of farm literature brought out by the University.

S. Gurpreet Singh Shergill (Chief Minister Award in Horticulture)

For making significant progress in Horticulture, Gurpreet Singh Shergill, s/o. S. Baldev Singh Shergill of village Majal Khurd (Patiala) has been selected for Chief Minister Award in Horticulture. A trained mechanical engineer, S. Gurpreet Singh Shergill, is in farming since 1996 on his 36 acre ancestral land. He has excelled in the cultivation of gladiolus in the area. He attributes his success to the expert advice of PAU scientists and his regular contact with farm literature. Gurpreet carries out a variety of subsidiary occupations such as; bee keeping, mushroom growing, rabbit farming, dairy and food processing. He is an active member of Punjab Nauwan Kisan Sansthan. His family members also support him in his farming profession. Visitors from within the country and abroad visit his farm.

Gurpreet Singh Shergill believes in applying the right input at right time and in a right way. He has installed water saving devices such as; drip irrigation and maintains soil moisture through mulching. He has standardized his innovative cropping systems involving gladiolus, marigold, after paddy, gladiolus after green manuring, which he says is helpful in maintaining soil health. This progressive farmer believes in the conservation of natural resources. He uses canal and tube well water for irrigation and has installed an irrigation system for efficient water use. He has a fish farm on one acre, 6 milch animals, and prepares his own vermicompost on 2000 sq.ft. area. S. Shergill generates employment for 20 labourers. He has established a unit of preparing rose water on his farm. He strongly believes that diversification is a right way to sustain Punjab agriculture.

Gurpreet shares his knowledge with other farmers through electronic and print media. He believes in self marketing of his farm produce. He maintains an active contact with scientists of KVKs and PAU.

Sh. Surinder Kumar Ahuja (Chief Minister Award in Agriculture)

Sh. Surinder Kumar Ahuja, s/o. Sh. Nathu Ram Ahuja has excelled in agriculture. This 73 year old farmer is a commerce graduate who cultivates his ancestral land of 150 acre for the last 50 years. Sh. Ahuja is a member of PAU Kisan Committee and Punjab State Micro Irrigation Committee. He has provided his inputs in various agricultural fora and has been recognized for his innovation in the management of crop residues by CSISA/CIMMYT. The state department of horticulture and PAU has also recognized his contributions.

Sh. Ahuja is running 52-bed vermi compost unit and uses laser land leveler on his fields. He believes in the judicious use of water for which he has adopted drip irrigation, direct seeding of rice, permanent irrigation structure, etc. on his farm. He carries out his farm operations efficiently and timely through farm mechanization.

Sh. Surinder Kumar Ahuja is propagating scientific farming among other farmers through his organization called Farm Solutions. He propagates the use of farm machinery, tips for efficient use of water and nutrients, etc. He himself is maintaining an active liaison with farm experts.

S. Surjit Singh Chaggar(Chief Minister Award in Agriculture)

S. Surjit Singh Chaggar s/o. S. Kundan Singh Chaggar, resident of village Chaggran (Hoshiarpur) has made outstanding progress in agriculture. This 48 year old farmer cultivates 67 acre of which 37 acres are his ancestral. He is a member of district level Farm Production Committee, Punjab Naujwan Kisan Sanstha, Pashu Palan Committee and is a regular visitor to PAU, Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, Palampur, Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, Udaipur, etc. and has participated in agro tech and trade fair exhibitions to get in touch with new knowledge. He has been honored seven times during the last decade, by various organizations.

S. Chaggar uses laser land leveler and leaf color chart (LCC) for saving water and nitrogen. He includes pulses such as moong bean, mash, chick pea, lentil and peas in his cropping pattern. He uses bed-planting technique and mixed planting to save water and other resources. He decides about fertilizer application based on soil test reports.

To meet the domestic needs of vegetables, fruits, he maintains a home garden and has reserved some area for organic farming. S. Surjit Singh Chaggar is producing vermicompost at his farm since 2003 and has a dairy farm of 10 animals. He uses the farm refuge for biogas production. He is successfully raising two crops of maize simultaneously. One crop is sown on ridges made through mechanical ridger while the other one is sown through drill when the first crop is 4-5 inch tall. He earns 50% more profit with this technology.

S. Chaggar has innovated in developing his own machinery of which disc plough, maize thrasher, worm sorter from compost have been recognized at the national level. He religiously follows the technologies recommended by PAU. This technically sound farmer attributes his progress to PAU programmes on radio and TV and is a regular reader of PAU farm magazines. He believes in meticulous record keeping for proper budgeting of his farm. The farmer has generated employment for 30 workers and farm women at his farm.

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