Tuesday, May 28, 2013



A state level seminar on "Direct Seeded Rice: Prospects and Challenges" was organized by the Department of Agronomy of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here today. Farmers from across the Punjab state, and scientists from Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), Farm Advisory Service Scheme (FASS), and various parts of the country participated in the seminar. Dr P.K. Khanna, PAU Registrar, was also present on this occasion.

In his remarks, Dr M.S. Gill, Director of Extension Education, said that rice is a staple food of the country. "Nearly 40 million hectare area in India is under paddy," he divulged, saying that the demand for this major crop is increasing in view of the burgeoning population. Stating that the direct seeded rice (DSR) technology holds great relevance, Dr Gill emphasized that the adoption of new farm technologies is vital for ensuring food security and agri-sustainability. He informed that the trainings, jointly organized by the Punjab Agricultural University and the State Department of Agriculture on direct seeding methodology have created a great impact on the farmers of the Punjab. Dr Gill advised the participating farmers to contact the University experts at KVKs and FASS, located in different parts of the state, for gaining knowledge about the technological components of DSR.

Dr Gursharan Singh, Dean, Postgraduate Studies, appreciated the efforts of the organizers in the organization of the much needed seminar. Presenting an overview of the postgraduate teaching, he said that the technical guidance on the application of agro-chemicals, maintenance of soil health, water conservation technologies, and production and protection technologies is imparted to the students through various academic programmes of the University.

Speaking on the current status and prospects of DSR in Punjab, Dr H.S. Dhaliwal, Dean, College of Agriculture, pointed out that paddy is a water demanding crop. There is a lot of scope of DSR technology as it is water and labour saving, he said, while calling upon the rice growers to adopt this methodology to reduce their cost of cultivation.

Highlighting the research priorities of the PAU, Dr J.S. Dhiman, Additional Director of Research (Natural Resource and Plant Health Management), said that the University is focusing on farm diversification, natural resource conservation, farm mechanization, paddy straw management, economic upliftment of the small farmers, and evolvement of crop varieties using less water. He observed that in view of the water concerns of the state, DSR methodology can play a key role in water conservation.

Dr Gurjeet Gill, Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) Project leader, University of Adelaide, Australia, pointed out that declining labour availability, rising labour costs, declining water table, and deteriorating soil health are the issues being faced in the rice production. Referring to direct seeding method, he said that it is labour saving and leads to improved productivity. Weed management is a major challenge in DSR, he told, adding that there are effective herbicides available for use in this technology. "Basmati is an ideal option for DSR because of its optimum sowing time," he said.

Earlier, Dr G.S. Buttar, Head of Agronomy Department, welcomed the dignitaries and the participants. He highlighted that DSR technology has gained wider acceptance among the farmers of Bathinda, Moga, Muktsar and Faridkot districts. The seminar aims at gathering feedback from the farmers and promoting the DSR method in other parts of the state, he added.

On this occasion, the dignitaries released two publications on DSR. A technical session was held wherein the experts deliberated on agronomy of DSR, current status of DSR technology in Haryana, and crop establishment and weed management in DSR. Besides, feedback from national level ACIAR training workshop on DSR was also gathered. Dr Dhiman chaired the session whereas Dr G. Gill co-chaired the session.

Dr S.S. Walia, PAU Agronomist, highlighted the significance of direct seeding technology and proposed the vote of thanks.
News From: http://www.7StarNews.com

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