Thursday, March 7, 2013


LUDHIANA, March 7:--

The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) organized a Kisan Mela at its Regional Research Station, Gurdaspur, today. The Chief Parliamentary Secretary (Agriculture) Punjab, Mr Gurbachan Singh Babbehali, was the chief guest while Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, presided over the mela, which showcased latest farm technologies. Mr Hardev Singh Riar, Member PAU, Board of Management, also graced the occasion.

In his inaugural address, the Chief Guest, Mr Babbehali said that scientific and technical expertise is required for enhancing food productivity. Efficient marketing of agri-produce is important for better income generation and economic unpliftment of farmers. Highlighting that Research Station at Gurdaspur was active even before partition, he added that several varieties of field crops and fruits, developed by this Centre, have been released at national level, which is a matter of great pride. The modern tools of communication and information technology will be utilized to strengthen the marketing network, he told. Advising the farmers to adopt subsidiary occupations like mushroom cultivation, bee-keeping, fish farming, etc. for better and regular income, he urged them to maintain invoice of the farm inputs purchased by them (farmers). Mr Babbehali also stressed upon the farmers to curtail their superfluous expenses and keep constant liaison with the farm scientists to address emerging farm-related issues.

Presiding over the mela, the PAU Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillon impressed upon the farmers to diversify from paddy-wheat cropping system and adopt cultivation of maize, vegetables, pulses, and agro-forestry. The farmers of Amritsar and Gurdaspur should also focus on the marketing of vegetables in the international market through airport at Amritsar, he suggested. Pointing out that the appearance of yellow rust on wheat crop was noticed on the unrecommended varieties, he empahsised that the farmers should sow only PAU recommended wheat varieties. Dr Dhillon also called upon the farmers to regularly read the PAU farm publications including Progressive Farming and Changi Kheti (English and Punjabi Edition) as they contain the recommendations of the farm scientists. Advising the farmers to go in for custom hiring of farm machinery, he asked the farmers to adopt resource conservation technologies like laser land leveler and tensiometer. Dr Dhillon also emphasized on the involvement of rural women in agriculture for the overall rural development. The University has identified nearly 6000 'PAU Doots' (agricultural ambassadors) in different Punjab villages and is expanding its network for the quick dissemination of farm technologies. Dr Dhillon also urged the rural youth to give-up the consumption of drugs.

Appreciating the research work of PAU Regional Research Station of Gurdaspur, Mr Hardev Singh Riar suggested the organization of Kisan Melas at block level to increase the reach of the University.

Earlier, the PAU Director of Extension Education, Dr. M.S. Gill in his welcome address, said that the 17 Krishi Vigyan Kendras across the state Punjab are catering to the training needs of farmers and farm women. He advised the farmers to adopt auxiliary occupations, for which the University provides in-depth training at PAU campus as well as KVKs and FASS.

Highlighting the research achievements of PAU, Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman, Additional Director of Research (NR&PHM), informed that the University is reprioritizing its research programmes in view of abrupt climate change. He informed that the University is conducting research on more than 100 different crop varieties and has so far developed about 725 various crop varieties/hybrids. The university has recently released six new varieties of field crops for the forthcoming kharif season. These include "PR 121, and PR 122"of 'A' Grade paddy, "Punjab Basmati 3 and Pusa Punjab Basmati 1509" of basmati rice, "PMH 7"of maize and "HG 365" of guar.

The Additional Director of Communication, Dr H.S. Sehgal told that the sale of package of practices for kharif crops was very encouraging as it contains complete package to grow different seasonal crops. The Crop Calendar also attracted many farmers, he said, informing that a farm bulletin on mushroom cultivation- Kumbhan Di Kasht will be available for the sale at on-campus Kisan Mela, slated for March 15 and 16 at Ludhiana.

Dr Paramjit Singh, Director, Regional Station, Gurdaspur, proposed the vote of thanks. A large number of stalls, put up by the PAU scientists, showcased innovative farm technologies, equipment and machinery at the exhibition. Scientists interacted with the farmers and the farm women and responded all their queries. There was huge rush of farmers for the purchase of seeds of Kharif crops, vegetable mini kits, farm literature and fruit plants from the sale outlets.
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