Thursday, March 10, 2011


Ludhiana, March 10(Anmol Singh)

The second Kisan Mela of this season was organized by Punjab Agricultural University at its Regional Station, Faridkot, today. PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Manjeet Singh Kang inaugurated the mela while Bhai Narinder Singh Sidhu, Member Board of Management was the special guest.

Addressing the farmers, Dr.Kang said Faridkot is the sixth station where Kisan Mela has been initiated this year. The University has been regularly organizing melas at Rauni (Patiala), Balowal Saunkri, Bathinda, Gurdaspur and Ludhiana. " This mela will greatly benefit the farmers of Ferozepur and Faridkot as they have to earlier travel to Ludhiana or Bathinda", he commented Dr. Kang informed that PAU had pioneered the concept of Kisan Mela way back in 1967. Now other agricultural universities in the country are following our footsteps, he added.

Highlighting the importance of irrigation water, Dr. Kang said, water is an important input for agriculture and should be used very wisely. The water-use efficiency assumes great importance for the people of Faridkot as the underground water here is of poor quality. He stressed from the farmers to adopt water saving technologies like delayed paddy transplanting; use of Happy Seeder and Zero Tillage; use of tenisometer and Laser Leveler etc. " We must maintained our lead passion in agriculture by using the new technologies".

Highlighting the research achievements of the university, Director of Research Dr. S.S. Gosal informed that PAU, since its inception in 1962, has developed 695 varieties in 95 different crops. The Regional Station, Faridkot has done extensive research on cotton and sugarcane and has evolved 9 varieties. Two varieties of American Cotton- F414 and F846 and one of desi cotton FDK124 developed by this centre are cultivated on a large scale in Punjab. The station has also tested several varieties of Bt cotton.

Giving information about the new varieties released this year, Dr. Gosal informed that FDK 124 variety of desi cotton matures in 160 days and yields 9.3 qtls per acre. This variety is resistance to the attack of aphid and white fly. Another variety of pear – Nijisseiki has fruit which is very soft and juicy and has a long self life .

Addressing the farmers Dr.Jagtar Singh Dhiman, Additional Director of Communication, PAU pleaded the farmers to develop a habit of reading farm literature. He informed that university publishes two farm magazines- Progressive Farming in English and Changi Kheti in Punjabi. Besides, package of practices for different crops are also published. He suggested the farmers to established home libraries. On this occasion new publication brought out by the university work also released.

Earlier welcoming the Chief Guest and farmers, Director of Extension Education, Dr. M.S.Gill expressed satisfaction that farmers have shown great enthusiasm for this maiden mela. Advocating for diversification in agriculture, Dr.Gill described cotton crop as a good substitute for paddy in this reason as it needs less water. Pulses and oil seed crop in the rabi season can offer a viable alternative to wheat as their demand is very high and they need less water to grow. Dr. Gill further said that since underground water in this reason is of poor quality, good canal water should be used for first irrigation to the crops.

Farmers visiting the mela showed keen interest in the field demonstrations and exhibition. Technical stalls of different departments also attracted farmers' attention. Farmers were keen for the new seeds and they purchased about 85qtls seed of different varieties. Besides they also purchased about 350 vegetable kits. In the question -answer session, subject matter experts of the university addressed to the farm queries of the farmers. Several competitions in crop produce and for farm women were also held and the winners were awarded prizes. On this occasion Dr. H.S. Kalsi, Ex Director, RRS, Faridkot who served the station for 28 long years, was given a special honour.
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