Sunday, March 17, 2013



A two-day Kisan Mela at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) concluded with a great success. The mela was a hit amongst the farmers, hailing from various parts of the Punjab and other adjoining states. The PAU farm literature, brought out by the Centre for Communication and International Linkages, was a big attraction for the farmers during the two-day mela.

Speaking at the prize-distribution ceremony, the Chief Guest, Dr J.S. Sandhu, Agricultural Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, said that we need to produce 300 million tonnes of food grains by 2030. This target can not be achieved alone with the cultivation of traditional crop varieties, he pointed out, saying that there is a need to develop/adopt hybrid varieties for this purpose. The country has produced record wheat production last year and the Punjab state has made maximum contribution to it, he highlighted. At present, India has exported nearly 5 million tonnes of wheat and is about to export 5 million tonnes of wheat more, he disclosed, while emphasizing on the quality maintenance of wheat in terms of pesticide residue. As the wheat-rice production has picked up in the other states, there is a dire need for the crop diversification and maize is an important alternative crop, said Dr Sandhu. The establishment of Directorate of Maize Research at Ladhowal, Ludhiana, will be of immense benefit to the researchers as well as the farmers, he added. Dr Sandhu gave away the prizes to the winners of the crop produce, home science and various other agri- competitions.

Presiding over the mela, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, expressed concern over the depleting ground water table in Punjab. "Without water, there will be no future of the next generation," he stated, while urging the farmers to adopt water saving technologies such as drip irrigation, laser land leveler, and tensiometer. Even urban population should make judicious use of water, he stressed. Advising the farmers to avoid the use of unrecommended crop varieties and agro-chemicals, Dr Dhillon impressed upon them to maintain contact with the PAU experts and read University farm literature regularly for timely technical guidance and expertise. He appreciated the efforts of the State Government towards the promotion of the crop diversification in Punjab and said that the kitchen garden can play an important role in this context. Dr Dhillon also suggested the farmers the adoption of auxiliary occupations such as beekeeping, mushroom cultivation, repair of farm machinery parts, and dairy, poultry and fish farming for regular income at home.

Earlier, Dr M.S. Gill, Director of Extension Education, welcomed the dignitaries and the participating farmers and the farm women. He said that the mela is a source of information and knowledge regarding new farm innovations and technologies. The farmers must see the live field demonstrations, being given by the PAU experts, he told, adding that the stakeholders can also seek solutions to their agri-queries on the spot. Dr Gill urged the farmers to take maximum benefit of 17 Krishi Vigyan Kendras, and 12 Farm Advisory Service Scheme, located across the state.

Mr Marco Pezzini, General Secretary, Italian Agricultural Machinery Manufacturers' Federation, announced the gifting of the Italian farm machinery to the PAU for research and education. About 20 Italian farm machinery manufacturers have gifted the machinery to the University, told he, adding that this bilateral cooperation would go a long way in the development of agriculture. The PAU VC, Dr Dhillon expressed his deep thankfulness to the EIMA and said that this University is popular because of its research, in which the farmers have also contributed through their feedback.
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