21 Delegates from USA, under Montana State University’s Resource Education and Agriculture Leadership (REAL) Extension Programme, visited Punjab Agricultural University today and held discussions with the University Officers, Heads of Departments and faculty members. The group comprising educationists, entrepreneurs, agriculturists, and government and extension functionaries was briefed about PAU’s research and extension activities by Dr K.S. Thind, Additional Director of Research, Crop Improvement. They were made aware about the University’s campaign on in situ paddy residue management involving development of farm machinery, extension lectures and demonstrations during farmers’ training programmes. The visitors were intrigued by farmers’ methods of fertilizer broadcasting, product marketing channels to facilitate sale of produce and shift of mind set from gross income to profitability. Program Coordinator, REAL Montana, Tara Becken revealed that challenges and success involved while working with the farmers were almost the same in both countries. “Therefore there is scope for exploring long term programmes”, she said. Becken lauded PAU’s efforts in helping Punjab attain a glorious position with respect to agricultural development in the country. Dr Ashok Kumar, Additional Director of Research, Farm Mechanization and Bio Energy shed light on the farm machinery developed by PAU to tackle the declining water table and manage crop residue.
The group later visited the mushroom farm followed by the Food Industry and Business Incubation Center.