Friday, March 11, 2011



Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), today organised a regional Kisan Mela at its Regional Research Station for Kandi Area (RRSKA) at Ballowal Saunkhri of district Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar. Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Chaudhary Nand Lal was the Chief Guest while Dr. B.S. Ahluwalia and Sh. Mohammad Tayyab, IAS SDM, Balachaur, were the guests of honour.

In his inaugural address, Chaudhary Nand Lal said that over the years there has been considerable change in farming. PAU is doing a great service for the farmers of this region by developing need-based technologies for Kandi area. Kisan Mela provides great opportunity to the farmers to meet the University scientists and know about latest farm technologies. He said that Kisan Melas are sources of scientific knowledge for farmers and farm women. He appreciated PAU for the role it played in the direction of food security of the country adding that it has transformed the economic scenario of the country towards betterment.

He further said that the scientists working in the Kandi Area Research Station of PAU have generated good number of recommendations for addressing the area specific problems. He congratulated the PAU for being adjudged as the best farm varsity of the country.

Presiding over the Mela PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Manjit Singh Kang said that the majority of Kandi area in Punjab is rain-fed with deeper water table. Since water here is scarce, its efficient use is must. Since water is an important and critical resource for agriculture, water-use efficiency assumes great importance especially for the Kandi areas. He stressed the farmers to adopt water saving technologies, adding that PAU scientists were laying focus on technologies for the crops suitable for the area. Dr. Kang said that besides maize and wheat, the prevailing climate conditions permit growing of fruit crops like mango, galgal, citrus, guava, ber and amla and some vegetables crops and added that production technologies have been evolved keeping in view the needs of the region.

Dr. Kang appealed farmers to regularly participate in Kisan Melas and other transfer of technology programs of the university and to develop habit of reading PAU farm literature. He said that PAU scientists are always at the service of farmers from whom they should get farming – related awareness to excel in agriculture that has become too much knowledge intensive.

A special guest on this occasion, Dr. B.S. Ahluwalia, a former student of PAU and internationally acclaimed scientist from Vienna, Austria, 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. He suggested that since crops of amla, jatropha, olive and Aloe vera can be successfully cultivated in Kandi area, their processing industry should be encouraged. Sh. Mohammad Tayyab suggested that integrated farming approach should be encouraged.

Dr. S S Gosal, Director of Research, PAU, highlighting the research achievements, said that the university, since its inception in 1962, has developed 695 varieties in 95 different crops. He informed that focus is being laid on developing need-based technologies that are eco-friendly, cost-effective, user-friendly socially acceptable. He said that PAU orients its research programs as per needs of farmers and in doing so, the farmers feedback is given due consideration. He said that the need of the hour was to follow PAU recommendations with regard to seed treatment before sowing, rational use of agro-chemicals including pesticides and fertilizers.

Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman, PAU Additional Director Communication, suggested farmers and farm women to subscribe for farm literature brought out by the University and to set up their own farm-literature libraries, for which he said that the PAU Communication Centre would help them in doing so. He emphasized that farmers should strictly follow the recommendations and guidelines of PAU experts in their day-to-day farming operations.

Director of Extension Education, Dr. M.S. Gill while welcoming the Chief Guest, and others said that Kisan Melas of PAU provide opportunities to the farmers to interact with experts. He told farmers to keep a constant liaison with experts of PAU at RRSKA, Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) and Farm Advisory Service Scheme (FASS). Dr. Gill said that as the cost of inputs is increasing, judicious and need-based use is must to get better income from farming. He said that the problems of Kandi area are different than those in the rest of the state. He said that pulses and oilseeds should get a focus and should be included in the cropping pattern as it helps enhance soil health besides ensuring profitability. Similarly taramira can have a bright future in Kandi areas. He also highlighted the area specific programmes initiated by PAU.

The dignitaries and farmers were shown field demonstrations and exhibits depicting latest technologies developed by different departments. They showed keen interest in jatropha plantation block of 30 different clones. The queries of farmers were addressed by subject matter experts of PAU. The stalls by Self Help Groups, different Krishi Vigyan Kendras, Punjab Kisan Club, attracted farmers visiting the mela. There was huge rush of farmers for purchase of seeds of paddy, arhar, bajra, okra, til, radish as well as vegetable mini kits. Farmers also purchased farm literature, fruit plants from the counters that were set-up for the purpose. The award winning entries of crop produce competition were awarded certificates. A skit on the importance of scientific temperament especially in the case of human health care was presented by students of Gurseva Institute of Nursing, Panam.

The dignitaries planted saplings of Pink Guava (Ch. Nand Lal), Mango (Dr. M.S. Kang) and Fig (Dr. Ahloowalia). The aviaries to attract birds, for the purpose of studying their bio-diversity, installed on different forestry trees were shown to the visitors.

Earlier, Dr. S.C. Sharma, Director of the RRSKA gave information about the Research Station and its activities adding that scientists of different disciplines are catering to the farm technological needs of the region.

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