PUNJAB AGRICULTURAL UNIVERSITYICAR DG VISITS PAU TO REVIEW RESEARCH AND EXTENSION ACTIVITIESLUDHIANA, OCTOBER 18:The Director General of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Secretary, Department of Agricultural Research Education, Dr T. Mohapatra visited Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) to review the research and extension activities of all the ICAR centres functional in the university premises. He was accompanied by Dr S.K. Dutta, officiating Vice-Chancellor, Visva-Bharati Central University, West Bengal. He visited PAU’s Seed Farm, Ladhowal; Maize Research Centre; Agricultural Technology Application Research Institute (ATARI); Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET); and Punjab Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institute (PAMETI). At ATARI, Dr Mohaptra was welcomed by Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, and Dr Rajbir Singh Brar, Director, ATARI. Dr R.K. Gupta, Director, CIPHET; Dr H.S. Dhaliwal, Director, PAMTEI; Dr Navtej Bains, Director of Research, PAU; and Dr Ashok Kumar, Director of Extension Education, PAU, were present on the occasion. Progressive farmers, scientists of Krishi Vigyan Kendras(KVKs) and extension specialists also attended the meet.Dr Brar informed about the steps being taken by ICAR-ATARI and KVKs in curbing residue burning. He assured the Director General of taking every possible step to sensitize the stakeholders about the ill effects of residue burning.During ICAR Director General’s visit to PAU, Dr Dhillon apprised Dr Mohapatra of the on-going research and extension activities at PAU. Dr Mohapatra appreciated the scientists of PAU for developing improved crop varieties and technologies. He observed, “Every farmer of India learns from the farmer of Punjab. The measures adopted by Punjab farmers for residue management will pave for their (measures) adoption on a large scale by Indian farmers.” The rigorous efforts being made by Krishi Vigyan Kendras can bring positive results, he stated. Dr Mohapatra also lauded the efforts of PAU and ATARI in stopping the illegal practice of straw burning. He gave a green signal to a Mobile Van which will highlight the harmful effects, resulting from paddy straw burning. Later, he honoured seven Sarpanches of the villages, farmers and rural women for managing straw, after adopting its useful methods. Earlier, Dr Kumar, while highlighting the extension activities, said that every Krishi Vigyan Kendra of Punjab has adopted one village to stop paddy straw burning. This effort has resulted in purchase of more than 1000 Happy Seeder machines by the state farmers, he disclosed. About 1700 combine harvesters have also been fitted with Super SMS, which will be quite effective in managing rice residue, he added.Dr G.S. Manes, Former Head, Department of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering, gave a presentation on machinery, developed by PAU, for paddy straw management. The progressive farmers were of the view that protection of environment was their first priority and need of the hour.
The ICAR Director General also released a book titled “Vignettes of Farming Excellence” and a CD on residue management “Parali se Khushhali.”