Friday, August 30, 2013



A three-week summer school on "Machinery for Natural Resource Management and Technologies" sponsored by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), was inaugurated at the Department of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering (FMPE) of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). The scientists/researchers from across the country, working in the ICAR/state agricultural universities/central agricultural universities, are attending the summer school, which will conclude on September 18, 2013.

In his address, the Chief Guest, Dr S.S. Gosal, Director of Research, said that the training will accelerate the collaborative development and application of farm innovations amongst the public research organizations, farmers, private sector and other stakeholders. He stated that the use of innovative technologies to produce food and fibre in farming systems are ecologically, economically and socially beneficial. Dr Gosal informed, "The PAU is carrying out various research projects in the area of natural resource management and in recommended technologies like laser leveler, leaf color chart, tensiometer and drip irrigation system for farmers' use. The leaf color chart and tensiometer, developed by the University, are very useful precision tools for saving precious inputs like water and nitrogen for the crops."

Dr PPS Lubana, Dean, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, expressed concern overwidespread land degradation, and ground water imbalances, thus, resulting in impaired soil health, contamination of food, and environmental pollution. The situation is getting further compounded with the recent climate change impacts on agriculture, he observed.

Dr J.S. Dhiman, Additional Director of Research, (Natural Resource and Plant Health Management), emphasized that sustainable management of natural resources is vital as agricultural development with positive growth and long term sustainability cannot thrive on a deteriorating natural resource base.

Welcoming the dignitaries and the participants, DrGursahib S. Manes, Senior Research Engineer and Head of FMPE, said that to have a holistic solution to the emerging agri-problems, there is a need to set future priority research on precision farming, climate resilient agriculture, conservation agriculture and development of decision support systems for micro level land use planning.

Dr Manjeet Singh, Director of Summer School, said that interactive discussions on theoretical concepts, and hands-on exercises on tools and techniques will be organized for better comprehension and application in the area of machinery for natural resource management. Participants will also be acquainted with conservation farming, precision farming concepts, in addition to receiving hands-on experience through demonstrations on farm machinery, he added.

Dr CJS Pannu, Senior Research Engineer and former Coordinator of Research (Engineering), proposed the vote of thanks.

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