Wednesday, March 30, 2011



A five-member delegation from South Africa led by the Hon\'ble Member Executive Council (State Minister) of Agriculture of the Province of Limpopo, Mrs. Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba, visited Punjab Agricultural University, today. The other members of the delegation included Prof. (Dr.) Xikombiso Mbhenyane, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Venda in Limpopo, Mr. Mortimer Mannya, General Manager, Department of Agriculture, Limpopo Province, Mr. Morwamoche, Ntwampe, International Relations, University of Limpopo and Dr. Monicca Moc-Hadi, Manager, Department of Agriculture, Limpopo Province. They met Dr. Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU and discussed various agricultural issues. She said that the aim of the visit was to establish direct contact with PAU and to investigate possible areas of closure club cooperation as there exists vast potential for cooperation and exchange of know how.

In the Sutton House of PAU, the group interacted with Hon\'ble Minister of Agriculture, Punjab, S. Sucha Singh Langah. During a brief meeting the South African and Punjab Ministers of Agriculture discussed about concerns of contemporary agriculture. S. Langah said that University to University linkages help address problems and wished that both South African Universities and PAU would move ahead through a memorandum of understanding. He conveyed his best wishes to the African visitors from the people of Punjab. A renowned agricultural scientist from Vienna, Austria, Dr. B.S.Ahloowalia also interacted with the delegates.

Dr. Kang welcomed the group and said that world has turned into a small village and the emerging agricultural issues can be better addressed through joint efforts. He said that farmers of Punjab are progressive and are maintaining contact with the experts. He shared his experiences of his visit to Walter Sisulu University in South Africa. Dr. Kang highlighted that there is indebtedness among Punjab farmers due to easy availability of loans unlike in South Africa where it is not so. Dr. Kang while sharing the collaborations that PAU has developed with other foreign Universities said that PAU would welcome any collaboration with American Universities. S. Langah and Dr. Kang presented mementos and dockets of information about PAU to the visiting delegates.

Ms Letsatsi Duba highlighted PAU for its well integrated teaching, research and extension education programmes and said that there is possibility of inviting PAU scientists in South Africa to help with their expertise in the area of irrigated agriculture and capacity building in research, technology transfer and rural development. She said that PAU has endeavoured a great deal for the cause of national food security and through the cooperation model and regular follow up of the issues, a worth while tie-up between PAU and South African Universities could be developed. The MoUs can cement relationships, she said.

Mr. Mortimer Mannya highlighted that the group was interested to know about issues in the face of drought prone agriculture, engineering education, capacity building, biotechnology, pest and disease management, issues of small farming, etc. He said that the crops such as maize, sorghum, wheat, sunflower and horticultural crops including avocado, litchi, banana, mango and nuts are being grown in their area. He shared that there is site specific variation in land, besides issues concerning animal science and veterinary.

Mr. Ntwampe, said that there existed several possibilities of cooperation with PAU and the identified areas can lead to mutually beneficial results. He emphasized on the proper implementation and time frame monitoring of agreed programmes.

Prof. Mbhenyane said that the scientists of University of Venda in Limpopo consider PAU in high esteem and both the Universities had signed an MoU in 2002. He said that the envisaged programmes need to be carried forward through extrapolation of the pact.

Dr. Monicca Moc-Hadi shared her views about the South Africa-India friendship that has a history.

The Additional Director of Communication, Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman Coordinated the visit and apprised the delegates about the orientation and ongoing research, teaching and transfer of technology programmes of PAU.

The Registrar, Deans, Directors, Officers and Heads of Departments of PAU interacted with the delegates on various issues. The delegates were shown around landmark facilities at PAU. They showed keen interest in the crop improvement museum of PAU. Later they were shown Ludhiana Milk Plant where the former Chairman, Mr. Ajmer Singh Bhagpur and the Managing Director, Mr. S.S.Saini discussed about cooperative milk procurement model and the services available at the Milk Plant.
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