Monday, March 7, 2011


LUDHIANA, MARCH 7 (Anmol Singh)

The issue of water crisis in agriculture has different ramifications having social and economic facets. This was stated by Dr. Nathan Larson, Economist, University of Virginia, USA who is currently on a visit to Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). He elaborated that the ongoing project with the PAU Department of Economics and Sociology, on the role of social networks in the adoption of water saving technologies with Dr. R.S.Sidhu, as one of the collaborators, has a plan to standardize strategy to enhance the adoption of water saving technologies by the farmers. He appreciated PAU scientists for developing technologies aimed at enhancing water use efficiency, promoting diversification in agriculture, recommending machinery and techniques such as laser land leveler, tensiometer, drip irrigation, etc., that he said, need to be popularized for the overall cause of water saving.

Dr. Larson was discussing with Dr. Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU about the mandate of the project in which Dr. R.S.Sidhu, Dean, College of Basic Sciences and Humanities and Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman, Additional Director of Communication also participated.

Dr. Kang briefed the visitor about the technologies that PAU has developed for saving water and other natural resources. He said that the recent revolution in the cotton industry has been due to the release and adoption of Bt varieties. He observed that farmers have inclined towards cotton in recent years due to the high productivity attained in cotton, reduction in the use of pesticides and in the environmental pollution. He said that this may help to replace area from under rice, over the years. Dr. Kang said that Bt cotton is the only Bt version of any crop recommended in the country. He said that the envisaged project on assessing the social networks that can promote adoption of water saving technologies is greatly relevant to the contemporary agriculture that is experiencing water depletion with great concern. He offered Dr. Larson with all possible help from PAU.

Dr. Sidhu said that the statistical tools and economic approaches will be followed during the study and wished that useful results will emanate from it. The project, which is still in the pilot stage, will be expanded to a full-fledged network project.
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