Thursday, October 18, 2012



The Golden Jubilee Foundation Day celebrations of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) concluded last evening with a splendid performance by the students in the cultural extravaganza. The students enthralled the audience through their power-packed performance on a host of items including solo and folk songs, mime, fusion dance, creative dance and giddha. The eminent agricultural scientists from various parts of India participated and delivered thought-provoking lectures, during the celebrations, touching various facets of Indian and global agriculture. An exhibition highlighting the achievements of various PAU departments in the last fifty years was also organized on this occasion.

The Chairman of Punjab State Farmer's Commission and former PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr G.S. Kalkat, impressed upon the farmers to reduce area under paddy crop and diversify their farm operations by bringing more area under maize, pulses, vegetables and fruits. The cash crops will give more dividends to the farmers, he said. The farmers should also adopt subsidiary occupations like dairy farming for income enhancement and raising the standards of their living, he suggested.

Chairing the concluding technical session, Dr B.S. Ahluwalia, International Scientist and ex-member International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), supported the recommendations of Dr Kalkat and said that they are the need of the hour to make agriculture, a profitable venture.

Earlier, Dr R.B. Singh, President, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences (NAAS), impressed upon the farm experts to lay thrust on enhancing farmer's income and retaining youth in agriculture. He disclosed that 65 per cent of farming households are marginal, which comprise nearly 400 million marginal farmers. The availability, access and absorption of food at national, household and individual level can address the issue of national food security, he added.

Dr S.L. Mehta, former Vice-Chancellor, Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, Udaipur and former DDG (Edn.), ICAR, emphasized that industry and academics must work together and collaborate to produce best human resource. The experts should focus on the frontier science subjects, integration of technology, imparting hands-on-training, developing linkage with the private sector and strengthening of teaching and learning facilities, he stressed.

Dr C.D. Mayee, former Chairman, Agricultural Scientists Recruitment Board (ASRB), said that the GM technology offers number of benefits such as enhanced productivity by breaking yield barriers, improved quality of food and conservation of biodiversity. Referring to Bt cotton, he told that it has increased the yield upto 60 per cent, profit from 70 to 134 per cent and reduced pesticide consumption from 21 to 70 per cent.
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