For Main Edition(Kissan Mela)
PAU KISAN MELA KICKS OFF
REDUCE COST OF CULTIVATION: PAU VC TO FARMERS
LUDHIANA, MARCH 24:Massive turnout of farmers from Punjab and adjoining states marked the inauguration of the two-day Kisan Mela at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today. The campus was humming with the activities concerning field demonstrations, sale of quality seeds and farm literature, crop produce and home science competitions, technical session and cultural programme. The theme of the mela is “Sow PAU seeds, adopt subsidiary occupations, do efficient marketing and maintain farm records.”
Inaugurating the mela, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, who was the chief guest, congratulated the farmers for record production of paddy and cotton during 2016-17 crop season. He also lauded them for reducing the pesticide consumption, the sale of which has fallen by nearly Rs 54 crore. “The year 2017 is being celebrated as the Golden Jubilee year of Green Revolution,” he said, while saluting the agricultural stalwarts for their tremendous contribution to the agricultural development of the state as well as the country. Stressing the need to reduce the cost of cultivation currently, Dr Dhillon urged the farmers to make judicious use of farm inputs, cultivate vegetable and canola varieties for domestic consumption, opt for joint marketing and mechanization, and maintain farm accounts. He also emphasized on adopting subsidiary occupations such as beekeeping, mushroom cultivation, etc. and acquiring skill development trainings for reaping economic benefits. Dr Dhillon highlighted that the PAU has been recently honoured by the Indian Society of Genetics and Plant Breeding for having highest number of landmark varieties to the credit among all the State Agricultural Universities and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Institutes.
The guest of honour, Mr Harish Damodaran, Rural and Agriculture Editor, Indian Express, observed, “The current trends show that there won’t be any increase in minimum support price (MSP).” Therefore, farmers should reduce the cost of cultivation, he urged. Mr Damodaran also called upon the Government to make maximum investment in farm research, which can play an important role in this direction. He highly appreciated the PAU developed paddy variety ‘PR 121.’
Dr Hari D. Upadhyaya, Principal Scientist, International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics, Hyderabad, who was also the guest of honour, said, “Kisan Mela is a unique feature of this University, which acquaints the farmers with the new crop varieties and technologies.” He appealed to the participating farmers to purchase quality seeds from PAU and apply science in their fields to produce more.
Presenting the research highlights, Dr Ashok Kumar, Director of Research, PAU, said, “The University is conducting research on more than 100 crops and has developed a total of 799 crop varieties/hybrids till date.” Recently, PAU has developed/released new varieties namely Punjab Basmati 4 and Punjab Basmati 5 of basmati; CoPb 92, CoPb 93 and CoPb 94 of sugarcane; and Superior Seedless of grapes, he informed. Dr Kumar also shed light on newly recommended production-protection technologies for various crops.
Earlier, Dr R.S. Sidhu, Director of Extension Education, PAU, welcomed the dignitaries, participating farmers and the farm women. He remarked, “The huge rush of farmers in this mela speaks of their faith in PAU developed technologies and boosts the confidence of the agricultural scientists.” He said the University has outstanding achievements to its credit in research, teaching and extension. Dr Sidhu also advised the farmers to read PAU farm literature, see live demonstrations, share agri-queries with the experts and seek solutions for the same.
On the occasion, seven farmers were honoured for excellence in agriculture, horticulture and allied agri-enterprises. S. Jagtar Singh Brar of village Mahima Sirja, district Bathinda, was conferred with “Chief Minister Award” for excellence in agriculture while S. Rajinder Singh Dhaliwal of village Aabuwal, district Ludhiana and S. Vinder Singh of village Chhata Nanhera, district Sangrur, were awarded “Chief Minister Awards” for excellence in horticulture. S. Narinder Singh of village Ajowal, district Hoshiarpur; S. Hardeep Singh of village Kagga, tehsil Patran, district Patiala; and S. Paramjit Singh of village Pawat, district Ludhiana, were conferred with “CRI Pump Awards” for adopting organic cultivation, water conservation technologies and farm mechanization, respectively. S. Aparpal Singh Mahal of village Tungwali, district Bathinda, was awarded “Sardarni Prakash Kaur Sra Memorial Award” for making great strides in horticulture.
During the mela, three PAU scientists namely Dr V.S. Sohu, Senior Wheat Breeder; Dr Narinder Singh, Senior Plant Pathologist; and Dr S.K. Jindal, Vegetable Breeder were honoured. Besides, a team of scientists from Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Amritsar, was honoured for popularizing various PAU technologies. In addition, cashless awards were given to Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Patiala and Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Ropar by ICAR for excellence in transfer of technology.
The dignitaries also released a set of PAU publications. Later, PAU VC honoured the guests of honour with the mementos.