Friday, July 26, 2013



A one-day brain storming session on "Diversification of Agriculture" was organized by the Directorate of Extension Education of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) here today. The Associate/Deputy Directors from 17 Krishi Vigyan Kendras of the Punjab state, and the University senior officials, extension specialists, and heads of various departments participated in the session.

In his inaugural address, the Chief Guest, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said that there are many farm challenges and that the scientists must work hard to address various agricultural issues. Appreciating thePunjab government's initiative of promoting crop diversification in the state, he said that policy and farm technology are the two key factors to success. The adoption of the practice of the protected cultivation of vegetables by the state farmers for the export purpose is indeed laudable, said Dr Dhillon. The farm experts must make the agri-diversification initiatives reachable to every nook and corner of the state, he stated, while emphasizing on strengthening and enhancing the production of bio-fertilizers.

In his remarks, Dr A.M. Narula, Zonal Project Director, Diversification of Agriculture, divulged, "We have proposed the establishment of two Krishi Vigyan Kendras in the two districts of Punjab namely Fazilka and Pathankot. Soon, we will have 22 KVKs for 22 districts of the state." He said that the adoption of one village by each KVK to acquaint the farmers with new farm models and technologies can bring in agricultural diversification.

Dr S.S. Gosal, Director of Research, said that the dominant rice-wheat cropping system has badly affected the natural resources of Punjab including soil and water. Rice crop is grown in an area of 28 lakh hectares in the state, he revealed, while informing that under diversification plan, about 12 lakh hectares area is to be diversified from rice to alternative crops like maize, cotton, pulses, fruits, vegetables, and forage crops. The PAU has re-oriented its research programmes to improve alternative crops, Dr Gosal told.

Earlier, welcoming the dignitaries and the participating scientists, Dr M.S. Gill, Director of Extension Education, highlighted the role of diversified farming in solving the present agrarian issues, and the importance of allied agri-enterprises such as beekeeping and mushroom cultivation in the income enhancement of the farmers.

Dr H.S. Dhaliwal, Additional Director of Extension Education, proposed the vote of thanks. Dr H.S. Bajwa, Senior Extension Specialist coordinated the programme. A technical session was also held wherein different KVKs from across the state gave presentations.

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