Monday, April 8, 2013



A Professor of Citrus Genetics and Breeding, Citrus Research and Education Centre, Lake Alfred, University of Florida, USA, Dr Fred G. Gmitter today held a detailed interaction with the senior officials of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) namely Dr P.K. Khanna, PAU Registrar; Dr S.S. Gosal, Director of Research; and Dr Gursharan Singh, Dean of Postgraduate Studies. Besides, he also interacted with the deans, additional directors, and heads of various departments of the University.

Dr Gmitter said that his ten-day visit to Punjab, in general, and PAU, in particular aims at learning about this Farm University, visiting the citrus growing areas in the state and providing information on breeding and genetics which is valuable for the scientists as well as the farmers of the state. Nearly 40,000 farmers practice agriculture in Florida, he revealed, while expressing concern over the citrus diseases, which are posing a big threat to the production of this lucrative crop in Florida.

Welcoming the US delegate, Dr Khanna gave a brief introduction of the visiting member. He presented the key outlines of the organizational set-up of the PAU and also shed light on the activities of College of Basic Sciences and Humanities of the University.

Highlighting the research programmes of the PAU, Dr Gosal said that the University is working on more than 100 crops. Besides, the development of climate resilient technologies, processing and value-addition, protected cultivation, etc. are some of the priority areas for research, he told.

Dr G. Singh informed that the girls constitute 56 per cent of the total student strength of the University. The PAU students have the credit of bagging the prestigious Monsanto Beachell Borlaug Awards for four consecutive years, he highlighted. The international students from 13 countries have been enrolled in different academic programmes of the PAU, he added.

The Deans of the constituent colleges of the PAU namely Dr H.S. Dhaliwal (Agriculture), Dr PPS Lubana (Agricultural Engineering and Technology) and Dr Neelam Grewal (Home Science) apprised the visiting delegate of the activities and thrust areas of their respective colleges.

The PAU experts explained and discussed about the cultivation of three major fruit crops including kinnow, guava and mango with focus on their disease management.

In addition, the Director of School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Dr Kuldeep Singh; Additional Director of Extension Education, Dr H.S. Dhaliwal; Head of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Dr R.K. Ghumber; and the Additional Directors of Research including Dr P.S. Aulakh (Horticulture); Dr (Mrs) J.K. Sangha (Food Science, Nutrition and Engineering); Dr J.S. Mahal (Farm Mechanization and Bio-Energy); also participated in the interaction. Dr Ramandeep S. Jassal, Deputy Director (Public Relations), is coordinating the visit of the US expert.

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