Research and Extension Specialists’ Workshop for Rabi Crops
A two-day “Research and Extension Specialists’ Workshop for Rabi Crops” commenced at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). The Chief Agriculture Officers, Joint/Deputy Directors and Agriculture Development Officers from the State Department of Agriculture; Deputy/Associate Directors from Krishi Vigyan Kendras and Farm Advisory Service Centres; district extension specialists; and University deans, directors and faculty attended the inaugural session.
In his inaugural remarks, Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, who was the chief guest, urged the scientists as well as field level functionaries to focus on enhancing nutritional security, studying weather disturbances, promoting disease and residue management, conserving natural resources and sustaining agriculture.
Subsidiary occupations such as beekeeping, mushroom cultivation, poultry and fish farming need to be promoted among farmers for better profit, he added. “South India is ahead of North India in bio-agents and bio-pesticides,” he disclosed, while adding there is a need to compete in this area. “The University has recommended bio-fertilizers for 17 crops and provided these for 64,000 acres of area in Punjab last year,” he said.
Dr J.S. Bains, Director of Agriculture, Punjab, said this year, the cotton productivity is all set to surpass the record of last year’s productivity. “On production front, we are doing well, but there is a need to lay thrust on value addition, processing and marketing to augment farmer’s income,” he observed. Dr Bains said the State Government is making concerted efforts to tackle the problem of stubble burning by renting out straw management machinery to the farmers as a part of the subsidy. Dr Bains called for strengthening post-harvest management and weather systems, finding out off-farm subsidiary occupations, promoting judicious use of water and farm tourism, and working on micronutrients. “From August 20, an awareness campaign on urea saving will be organized across the Punjab,” he revealed.
Dr N.S. Bains, Director of Research, while presenting research highlights of PAU, said the University has developed a variety of oats ‘OL 12’ that is subject to approval of the State Variety Approval Committee. He also threw light on newly recommended production and protection technologies.
Earlier, Dr S.S. Kukal, Dean, College of Agriculture, welcomed the dignitaries and the participants. Later, Dr J.S. Mahal, Director of Extension Education, while proposing the vote of thanks, stressed on exhorting the farmers to avail the subsidy on straw management machinery to curb stubble burning menace in Punjab.
Dr T.S. Riar, Professor of Extension Education, coordinated the programme. On the occasion, an exhibition was also put up by various departments of PAU.