Kisan Mela At Kvk Rauni Witnesses Heavy Footfall
Patiala : In its ongoing series of Kisan Melas, the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) held a Kisan Mela for kharif crops at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Rauni, Patiala, here today. The Mela floated the theme “Aao kheti kharch kataiyey, vaadu paani, khaad na paiye,” underlining the need for cutting farm expenses by making judicious use of water and fertilizers.
The Mela, rightly termed by the PAU Vice-Chancellor as a Gyan te Vigyan Mela (Knowledge and Science fair) saw a mammoth gathering of farmers, farm women and rural youth who converged at the Mela, making a beeline for the purchase of University approved varieties and seeds, apart from purchasing farm literature authored by PAU scientists.
The Chief Guest, Dr Balbir Singh, Cabinet Minister, Health and Family Welfare, Medical Education and Research, commenced his address by expressing gratitude to the farmers, who had specially come over to attend the Kisan Mela with the motive of benefitting from recent advancements in agriculture through a direct interface with the PAU experts.
He congratulated Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, PAU Vice-Chancellor, for the sheer commitment of his team in extending knowledge and information to the stakeholders – our farmers. Dr Balbir Singh was vocal about the sincere efforts of the Chief Minister, Punjab, Sardar Bhagwant Mann, whom he called the true son of the soil owing to his commitment to make Punjab and its farming prosper.
He made a mention of the 20% increase in agriculture budget of the state, which would have a direct impact on income from agriculture for the farmers. Addressing the farmers as kudrati vigyani and the scientists as akhar vigyani, he said that the time is ripe for a massive upheaval and progress in Punjab, under the visionary leadership of the Government of Punjab.
He urged the farmers to visit the Incubation Centre, field demonstrations and agro-industrial exhibitions on display. Dr Balbir Singh appealed to the PAU authorities to set up nurseries in schools where youngsters would learn to cater to the vegetables, fruits and flowers from an early age and thus, kindle an interest in them towards farming and horticulture in particular.
In his presidential remarks, Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, made a call for making agriculture salubrious ecologically and economically, underpinning agricultural sustainability through natural resource conservation, straw management, adoption of subsidiary occupations and rich dividends to the farmers.
While addressing the farmers, Dr Gosal emphasized on adopting agricultural diversification by reducing the traditional wheat-paddy cropping cycle and shifting towards vegetables, fruits and subsidiary occupations.
He also urged the farmers to meet their household needs from the farm by adopting the ‘Integrated Agriculture Model’ developed by PAU. He further advised them to heed to the advice of the PAU experts to protect the wheat crop from rising temperature.
Dr Gosal also mentioned the merits of the new wheat variety PBW 826 and encouraged the farmers to increase the acreage under paddy PR 126 for saving ground water. He also stressed on the use of Tarwattar DSR that saves water hugely.
He added that farmers must plant summer maize on beds and make use of the drip irrigation method. Further, Dr Gosal added that paddy growers need not worry unnecessarily about dwarf disease, which gets more pronounced in early sown rice crop.
In the same breath, he cautioned them to transplant paddy after June 20. The Vice-Chancellor also gave a strong message to the framers to save their own wheat and paddy seeds, besides announcing that the Farm Advisory Service Centre (FASC) was relocated to Baradari, Patiala, on farmers’ demand.
Dr Gosal shared informative insights on Solar Cold Room for storing vegetable produce, surface seeding, mulching and PAU Smart Seeder Technology to manage paddy residue etc. Dr Gosal made a specific mention of the first ever Sarkar-Kisan Milni recently held at PAU campus, which saw the Hon’ble Chief Minister, Punjab, Sardar Bhagwant Mann, making a case for the first agricultural policy for the Punjab state.
The Guest of Honour, Dr Ismat Vijay Singh, SDM, Patiala, congratulated the University officials for successfully holding the Kisan Mela which would serve the farming community by disseminating worthwhile information to them at their doorstep.
She appreciated the efforts by the scientists and experts who willingly catered to the queries of the farmers and provided them viable solutions. The Director of Research, PAU, Dr Ajmer Singh Dhatt, while outlining the significant research outputs and recently released popular varieties of various crops suggested that farmers must opt for improved varieties recommended by PAU and beware of spurious seeds.
He made a special mention of Dorset Golden (Apple), Red dragon 1 and White Dragon 1 (Dragon fruit), PP 101 and PP 102 (Potato), Punjab Khushboo (Coriander), Punjab Himmat (Brinjal), PROL 1 (Okra), PE 11 (Eucalyptus) among others.
He also exhorted the farmers to sell farm produce and farm products and optimize on-farm integration of farm enterprises for enhanced farm incomes, resource/ input use efficiencies, and employment opportunities.
He stressed upon value addition to horticultural crops, horticultural mechanization and vegetable cultivation using soilless media technology, besides flower and mushroom cultivation. Earlier, Director of Extension Education, PAU, Dr Gurmeet Singh Buttar, accorded a welcome to the guests and dignitaries.
He urged the farmers to heed to the recommendations made by the University as far as crop varieties were concerned. While delineating about the importance of knowledge assimilation in practical farming, he referred to the University publications as reliable sources for enhancing farm knowledge.
Dr Buttar shared that quality seed and planting material, biofertilizers and farm publications were on sale in the Mela under one roof in addition to showcasing live demonstrations, holding farmers-scientists’ interaction, crop produce and home science competitions.
He appealed to the farmer gathering to visit the stalls and make the best purchase for a fruitful season ahead. Dr Tejinder Singh Riar, Additional Director Communication, PAU, conducted the programme and made a fervent appeal to the farmers to stay connected with the University experts by subscribing to the digital newspaper- Kheti Sandesh; weekly Facebook Live- farmer-scientist interface; PAU Kisan App; besides benefitting from more than 280 farm publications on a wide variety of farm related topics.
Later, a vote of thanks was proposed by Dr Gurupdesh Kaur, Incharge, KVK, Rauni, Patiala. She shared that inviting stalls displaying varied items including improved seeds, fertilizers, vegetable kits, farm implements, farm literature and other PAU recommended varieties related to agriculture and farming, had drawn a massive crowd of farmers from far and wide regions of Punjab and its neighbouring states.
She was grateful to the scientists and subject experts from various departments who had shared insightful information pertaining to effective and precision farming, new crop production, protection technologies, farm mechanization for crops, etc.
The Kisan Mela at Rauni, Patiala was a huge success. The PAU continues to earn accolades on account of its farmer reaching services.
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