Friday, September 7, 2012



Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) showcased latest farm technologies for ensuing Rabi crops and the standing Kharif crops at Kisan Mela organized at its Regional Research Station (RRS), Faridkot, today. Dr S.S. Gill, Vice Chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot inaugurated the mela. Mr Ravi Bhagat, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Faridkot and Bhai Narinder Singh, Member of PAU Board of Management were the Guests of Honour.

Addressing a huge gathering of farmers, Dr.Gill said PAU is the best agricultural university in the world that has exemplary research and extension linkages as well as a good rapport with farmers on one hand and government on the other . He appreciated PAU for the pivotal role it has played in Punjab agriculture, by evolving the improved crop varieties and developing the need-based technologies. He complemented its scientists who worked hard to bring a positive change in the conditions of farmers and farming of the region and suggested the farmers to develop a linkage with farm experts, who develop technologies keeping in view farmers needs.

Emphasizing on the need for protecting our natural resources, particularly water and soil, Dr. Gill said that the theme of the kisan mela,\"Pawan Guru Pani Pita, Mata Dharat Mahatt (Conserve air, water and soil)\" was greatly relevant. He advocated the need for more funds for research and human resource development. Dr.Gill drew attention of participants to discourage the use of drugs and other intoxicants. He said that for progress, a due focus on primary education in rural areas, higher education in world class institute and proper health care were a must. Elaborating on health care, Dr. Gill said that we must cultivate good thoughts. He said that in the contemporary time male and female gender have to move together. He appreciated that girls are doing well in all spheres of life including agriculture. He shared that there were 76 percent girls in his medical college.

Presiding over the mela, PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr.Baldev Singh Dhillon stressed upon the farmers to apply farm inputs judiciously to reduce cost of cultivation and save the environment. He suggested that farmers should use inputs in their fields based on expert advice and urged them to follow PAU recommendations which are made after testing for their being cost-effective and also environment friendly. Dr.Dhillon said that the PAU RRS at Faridkot has generated field-worthy recommendations addressing the regional problems. He suggested farmers to say no to burn paddy and to return paddy straw and crop refuge back to soil for the soil health and to go in for alternative uses such as compost making, mushroom growing, etc. He asked farmers to follow resource conservation technologies such as leaf color chart for saving nitrogen, tensio meter for saving water, happy seeder for sowing wheat after harvesting paddy. The fodder shortage in states like Rajasthan can be addressed by using paddy straw alongwith available fodders, said Dr Dhillon. He said balers can be used to make bundles of paddy straw for transportation. \"For agricultural progress, scientific farming is a must\", he emphasized. He also endorsed that at PAU there were 56 percent girl students who are doing well in their studies.

Dr.Dhillon further said that PAU is always at the service of farmers. They should get useful tips on regular basis to do well in agriculture that, he said, has become too-much knowledge intensive. To improve technology transfer and gather feedback from farmers, the University has deputed more than 6000 volunteer PAU Doots in Punjab villages, who will use e-mails for this purpose and act as bridge between farmers and experts. He appealed to the participating farmers to offer themselves for this noble task and to contribute liberally towards the endowment fund of PAU.

There is a strong need to address social vices that are impeding progress, said Dr Dhillon. He suggested farmers to regularly participate in Kisan Melas and other transfer of technology programs of PAU and to develop habit of reading farm literature brought out by PAU. He disclosed that PAU will bring out need-based farm literature. There have been increasing interest of famers in PAU farm literature, he said, describing it a positive sign.

Dr. S.S.Gosal the PAU Director of Research spoke on the research achievements of PAU and said that focus is being laid on developing technology that is eco-friendly, cost-effective, user-friendly, socially acceptable and need-based. He mentioned that for crop improvement PAU endeavors evolving varieties that are high-yielding, of better quality and tolerant to biotic and abiotic stresses. The Faridkot Station of PAU developed nine improved varieties of cotton, including the revolutionary varieties F-846, F-414 and FDK-124 (desi cotton) which helped boost cotton in the country, he said. Dr Gosal added that net-house cultivation of vegetables holds a great scope. He said that climate change his a cause of concern and that it requires concerted efforts to tune our agriculture.

Dr P.S.Chahal, Associate Director of Research, highlighted that since inception, PAU has released more than 700 varieties of different crops and shared that half of the varieties released at national level are those of PAU. He said that technologies for managing cotton pests with minimum use of pesticides have been developed. Referring to the integrated pest management (IPM) modules for the eco-friendly management of cotton pests, he highlighted that IPM has been effective in reducing the pesticide load in environment and curtailing the cost of production.

Earlier, PAU Director of Extension Education, Dr. M.S. Gill while welcoming the Chief Guest, Guest of Honour and others said that Kisan Melas provide opportunities for the farmers to interact with experts. He told farmers to follow the recommendations of PAU which are always made after thorough testing. Dr. Gill said that as the cost of inputs is increasing and natural resources-base is depleting, their judicious and need-based use as per suggestions of experts must be followed. Dr. Gill said that all the 17 Krishi Vigyan Kendras in Punjab are equipped with plant clinics with facilities of pest and disease diagnosis and soil testing. Farmers must avail these facilities, he said adding that to put agriculture on scientific track farmers must connect them selves with farm literature developed by PAU. Dr.Gill thanked the farmers for displaying keenness for participation in the mela, which, he said is a pointer that farmers are becoming progressive and this encourages scientists.

About 100 odd stalls displayed the farm related products, including pumps, spray machinery, tractors, etc. at agro-industrial exhibition. The stalls, presented a spectrum of new technology innovations and package of practices to farmers and farm women. Scientists of PAU departments like plant breeding, fruit science, soil science, plant pathology, entomology, vegetable science, farm machinery and power engineering, plant breeding and genetics, interacted with the farmers to allay their apprehension, clear doubts and provided information and useful tips to help them improve farm production. Farmers were benefited from the available expert service for disease/pest diagnostics and water and soil testing.

The farmers were shown around demonstrations and displays organized to project latest technologies . The queries of farmers were addressed by subject matter experts of PAU. The stalls by KVKs attracted farmers visiting the mela. There was huge rush of farmers for purchase of seeds of Rabi crops and vegetable mini kits. Farmers also purchased farm literature, fruit plants from the sale outlets that were set-up for the purpose The winning entries of crop produce competition were awarded certificates. The mela had the participation of Dr. V. Kumar, Head, Cotton Research Station, Navsari Agricultural University, Surat, Dr. Tirumani, Senior Scientist from Pondichari and Dr. Maisuria Ishvan of NAU Surat, DR HS Kalsy, Dr R.S.Dhaliwal, Heads of PAU Departments, faculty members and farmers.

Farmers were entertained by Som Nath Sharma Kavishars of Rode, students Barjindera College and Parminder Singh of Mata Hardyal Kaur Public School, Faridkot with their renditions focusing on environment and agriculture. Dr.R. K. Gumber, Director of the Research Station, proposed vote of thanks to the dignitaries and all present.
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