25 February 2021, Punjab, IN: The Research and Extension Specialists’ Workshop for Kharif Crops, jointly organized by the Directorate of Extension Education and the Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Punjab, was held at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today. The Deputy Directors, Chief Agriculture Officers and Agriculture Development Officers from the State Department of Agriculture; scientists from Krishi Vigyan Kendras and Farm Advisory Service Centres; and deans, directors and faculty of PAU participated in the workshop.
In his inaugural address, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, the University and the State Department of Agriculture share an exemplary relationship and their collective efforts have given a positive outcome. Even during the pandemic times, Punjab agriculture has made a remarkable progress, he observed, while lauding the contribution of public-private sector as well as food and nutrition sector. “The Skill Development Centre and the Food Industry Business Incubation Centre at PAU are working extremely well. There is a need to encourage farmers, farm women and the youth to acquire trainings, avail facilities and venture into agri-business,” he said to extension functionaries. The sale of biofertilizers, produced by PAU, has seen a big jump since 2011, he informed. Dr Dhillon also discussed groundwater depletion reports, soil testing, crop diversification, kitchen gardening, Punjab government’s commendable role in marketing, crop residue management and use of social media in COVID-19 times.
Dr Sukhdev Singh Sidhu, Director of Agriculture, Punjab, expressed concern over groundwater depletion and called for reducing the area under Pusa 44, a water guzzling variety. He underlined the need for promoting the cultivation of less water requiring rice varieties and residue free basmati cultivation, enhancing the area under sugarcane, and working for the profitability of the farmers.
Informing about the newly developed crop varieties, Dr NS Bains, Director of Research, said the varieties Punjab Basmati 7 of basmati; CoPb 95, CoPb 96, Co15023 and CoPb 98 of sugarcane; PMH 13 of maize and ML 1808 of moong will be discussed thoroughly in the State Variety Approval Committee for approval. He also threw light on the production and protection technologies for various crops, such as, paddy, basmati, maize, cotton, sugarcane and groundnut.
Dr KS Thind, Dean, College of Agriculture, welcomed the dignitaries and the participants.
Dr JS Mahal, Director of Extension Education, while proposing a vote of thanks, said the workshop would go a long way in providing solutions to the agricultural problems.
Dr TS Riar, Additional Director Communication, conducted the programme. On the occasion, an exhibition showcasing various varieties and their matching production-protection technologies, was also put up by different departments of PAU. Technical sessions on cotton and rice, forage and millets, maize and sugarcane, oilseeds, agricultural engineering and economics were held during the workshop.