Tuesday, March 22, 2011



S. Sucha Singh Langah, Minister for Agriculture, Punjab inaugurated the Regional Kisan Mela of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) at its Regional Research Station (RRS), Gurdaspur, today. He also laid the foundation Stone of College of Agriculture on the campus of RRS. The College will offer six year B.Sc. programme admission for which will be made from the ensuing Academic Session. Addressing a huge gathering of farmers, S. Langah described the College as a great gift for people of Gurdaspur. "Since education is the key to the development, the establishment of the College will open new vistas for the development in this region", he observed. Promising all the support-administrative and financial, to the College, the

Minister announced that Rs 10 crores will be given for it in the next

financial year.

Highlighting the problems in the face of Punjab Agriculture, S. Langah said that water depletion is a major agrarian constraint and that if needed measures were not taken water crisis can trigger a war in the future. He suggested that water saving is the responsibility of one and all. S. Langah advocated the use of water-wise technologies such as drip irrigation, laser land leveling , underground pipes to carry canal water for irrigating the fields, for which subsidy to farmers is being provided by the state government. Strongly advocating the need for diversification in agriculture, S. Langah said "sticking to paddy-wheat alone will push the farmers toward poverty". The Government, said S. Langah, is taking steps in this direction by establishing Litchi Estate at Gurdaspur and Pear Estate at Amritsar with a budgetary provision of Rs 10 crores for each so that regional growers are fed with holistic technical expertise for these important fruits. Describing farming as a noble profession, S. Langah suggested farmers to encourage their wards in it through imparting them agricultural education at PAU. The moral education is as important as professional education, observed he.

Presiding over the Mela, Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said that in the post green revolution era, agriculture was facingn many challenges and the biggest problem was depletion of the water and

soil nutrients. At the same time, the climatic changes are adversely

affecting our agriculture production. He stressed that the farming was

becoming a costly affair and the farmers must adopt better methods for

cultivation. He urged farmers to follow PAU\'s recommendations since

they are based upon far-reaching research and multi-location field

evaluation studies. He suggested that pulses should be included in the

cropping pattern as it helps enhance soil health besides ensuring


He said that PAU scientists and their counterparts at KVKs in the

state are always at the service of farmers. To make agriculture tread

on need-based track, new programmes and collaborations are being

formulated, he said. The recent collaboration is with Washington State

University for PAU faculty to pursue PhD studies.

Dr Kang said, PAU has been adjudged as the 'Best Farm Varsity 2011'

of India' and has been awarded the "Krishi Shiksha Samaan – 2011".

The credit for this achievement not only goes to the untiring efforts

of PAU scientists, but also to the hard work of Punjab farmers, who

have full faith in the university observed he while thanking farmers

and farm women for their massive participation in the Kisan Mela. He

also urged them to encourage their matriculate children to seek

admission in 6-year B.Sc (Agriculture) and Home Science programmes at


In his welcome address Dr. M.S. Gill, Director of Extension Education,

PAU said that Kisan Melas organized in different parts of the state

provide opportunities to farmers to interact with the experts of the

University. Besides, the Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) in different

districts provide the services like seed sale, soil & water testing,

disease/ pest diagnosis, etc. to farmers under one roof. He said that

the Mela was special as it had been dedicated to the "World Water Day"

and suggested everyone to pledge to use water most efficiently and

prudently both at home and at farms. He urged the farmers to adopt

techniques which conserve water and soil resources. Dr Gill said that

farmers could get the needed field-worthy information from the PAU

farm literature.

Voicing his concern over the rising cost of cultivation, Dr Gill said

increases cultivation cost was lowering the profitability. Excessive

use of pesticides and fertilizers, not only add to the cost of

cultivation, but were also harmful for the soil and the environment,

he observed. He urged the farmers for their optimum use as per PAU

recommendations. He also urged the farmers to for diversification

adding that the university was recommending the cultivation of Basmati

rice and Spring maize to promote diversification in the state.

Dr SS Gosal, Director of Research, gave an overview of the research

activities of PAU. He said that Gurdaspur Research Station,

established in 1910, was the oldest in the country and is known as the

hot-spot for screening of genotypes against diseases. He said that the

current thrust of PAU was on developing crop varieties which require

less water, less fertilizer and are resistant to disease and pest

attack. It is developing farm machinery to bring precision and

timeliness in operations. Leaf Colour Chart for need-based fertilizer

N applications in paddy and maize, has been recommended, he said,

adding that research on bee- keeping, and crop biotechnology was also

going on. He said that the Gurdaspur area being apt for fruits and

vegetables the farmers should adopt these to diversify agriculture.

The PAU will supply seed tubers of potato (Varieties Kufri Jyoti and

Kufri Sindhri), improved clones of poplar and wheat variety PBW 621

from ensuing season.

A cultural programme and Bhangra were presented by students of PAU

Institute of Agriculture, Gurdaspur. A large number of farmers visited

the demonstrations and exhibits organized to project new farm

technologies. Besides field demonstrations on recent varieties,

technological stalls (78) by different departments showcased the

latest technologies for crops. The seeds of latest varieties,

agro-industrial exhibition attracted farmers\' attention. Farmers'

queries were addressed by experts in the question-answer session. Dr

P.S.Bagga, Director RRS, Gurdaspur proposed vote of thanks to the

Chief Guest, dignitaries and farmers.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

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