Tuesday, March 29, 2011



To impart training to 300 scouts working in different adopted villages of Punjab, the Department of Entomology and the Directorate of Extension Education, PAU, organized a training programme on 'Integrated Pest Management (IPM) of cotton' from March 21 -30, under the aegis of Sir Ratan Tata Trust (SRTT). The training for the second batch, involving the participation of scouts from Bathinda, Mansa, Sangrur and Barnala, culminated here today.

Speaking on this occasion, the chief guest Dr Manjit Singh Kang, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said that the introduction of IPM has helped in raising yield of cotton crop in the state. He disclosed in 1964-65 the average yield of cotton was about 300 kg/ ha and fell to 151 kg/ha in 1999 because of various pests and diseases. Launched by PAU in 2000, IPM has benefited the farmers in raising the average yield of cotton. At present, the yield of cotton is 900 kg/ha against 752kg/ha in 2007. The farmers income increased as a result of enhanced yield of cotton which is a 'cash crop'. Referring to SRTT programme, he said that it is beneficial to the farmers and the concept of introducing scouts to train the cotton growers has proved useful. Scouts can be the role model for the farmers, said he, while divulging that 922 scouts have received training till date from PAU. As many farmers are keen to embrace organic agriculture, Dr Kang said that Bt cotton has led to reduced use of chemical pesticides which pollute the environment.

Dr S.S.Gosal, Director of Research, PAU, said that the major focus of the scout's training is on reducing the excessive use of insecticides on cotton crops. He advised the farmers to read the farm literature 'Progressive Farming (English)' and 'Changi Kheti (Punjabi)', brought out by PAU Communication Centre, regularly, as the recommendations, latest techniques and technologies conveyed through these publications can prove beneficial for the farming community. He also shed light on the cotton varieties such as 'Bollguard-I (resistant to American bollworm) and Bollguard-II (resistant to American bollworm and tobacco caterpillar)'. Dr. Gosal said that the University is laying focus on problems such as mealy bug, cotton leafcurl virus, jassids, etc. through developing research based management technologies.

Dr G.S.Chahal, Executive Director, SRTT, advised the farmers to reduce the use of insecticides for it was harmful to crops, humans, pets and environment. He impressed upon the scouts to help the cotton growers by transferring technology imparted to them during the training and provide feedback to PAU by acting as University\'s message carriers. Highlighting that the university forms programmes and carries out research for the farmers' advantage, Dr Chahal revealed that scouts from each 300 rural areas were being trained in order to stop the growers from the excessive use of pesticides and to apprise them of the need based technologies.

Dr A.K.Dhawan, Head, Department of Entomology, PAU, stressed the scouts to transfer the pertinent technology to the cotton growers in all the areas emphasizing to give proper feedback to the university. Dr Dhawan added that the farmers were facing problems of cotton diseases such as leaf curl disease and laid stress on the timely management of these disease. He disclosed that a knowledge group of 20-25 farmers, will be formed that will remain in touch with the scouts, who will be the motivating factor for them. He said that the trained field scouts will help reach the technology to the unreached farmers that are still to the tune of 40%.

Dr Kang and others released a book entitled' IPM modules for pest management in Bt cotton' which serves as a resource material for field scouts. The book has been brought out jointly by the Department of Entomology, PAU and SRTT. Mr. Amit Sandhu, Field Coordinator said that the training programme was of immense importance for the scouts as it prepares them not only for improving their own farming but also for others. He expressed that the scouts will utilize their learning to generate the desired impact in the cotton villages. Present on the occasion were Dr Jagtar Singh Dhiman, Additional Director of Communication, Dr A.S.Sohi, consultant SRTT, field scouts trainees, and members of faculty of entomology department. Dr. Sohi, proposed his vote of thanks to the Chief Guest, experts, trainees and faculty members. Dr T.S.Riar conducted the proceedings.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

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