The Fact News Service
Ludhiana, September 14
The virtual kisan mela of Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana at Faridkot culminated with a rousing response from the farmers. Speaking at the occasion, Vice Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, and Chief Guest of the day, Dr Bahadar Singh applauded the role of Punjab in feeding the nation and gave credit to PAU for enabling green revolution through scientific research.
In this regard, “Punjab shines not just in the country but throughout the world”, he stressed. He shared the contribution of the university in collaboration with Baba Farid University for the smooth conduct of COVID tests during the early period of the pandemic.
Dr Bahadar pointed towards the need for a shift from cereal crops to oilseeds and pulses, keeping in mind the nutritional and sustainable aspect of agriculture. He thanked the farmers for joining the link and contributing to the huge success of the virtual kisan mela.
“The various varieties released by PAU deserve applause but their success depends on the willingness of farmers to listen to experts and adopt the techniques recommended by them”, he stressed.
Sharing his thoughts about the practice of stubble burning, Dr Bahadar reminded the audience about the verse in Guru Granth Sahib that refers to the earth as the mother and the other elements as crucial for human survival, thus urging them to conserve the paddy stubble in the field itself.
“Given the mortality associated with the ongoing pandemic, Dr Bahadar Singh added that we cannot afford to be callous about aggravating conditions like asthma and other breathing problems by burning the rice stubble”.
Director ATARI, Dr Rajbir Singh hailed the efforts of PAU in stemming stubble burning through in situ and ex situ stubble management techniques. He also urged the farmers to go in for custom hiring of machinery for stubble management.
Dr Navtej Singh Bains, Dirtector Research, PAU, gave an overview of PAU recommended Rabi crop varieties for the oncoming season which include PBW 869, PBW 824 of wheat, BL 44 of berseem, Javi OL 15 and recommended varieties of Carrot, Punjab Sharda variety of melon and Cucumber PKH 11.
In agroforestry he mentioned Punjab Dake 1, and Punjab Dake 2. Dr Bains highlighted the new machine Smart Seeder developed by PAU that mixes a part of the stubble within the soil and spreads the remaining as mulch.
Earlier Dr Jaskaran Singh Mahal, Director, Extension Education, while welcoming the guests shared the need for virtual melas in the light of COVID induced challenges and how with PAU taking the lead in this regard, the other government and private organizations followed suit. “Last year more than five lakh farmers joined the virtual melas and this number is expected to go up this year, given the constant queries and palpable enthusiasm among the farmers and general public around the globe”, Dr Mahal observed.
Dr Pankaj Rathore, Director, Regional Research Station, Faridkot proposed the vote of thanks. The programme was coordinated by Additional Director Communication, Dr T.S. Riar. The mela included online query sessions of scientists of various fields with farmers.