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Aiming to promote crop residue management and integrated farming systems, an awareness camp was organized by the Rural Awareness Work Experience (RAWE) students of the College of Horticulture and Forestry, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in the village Mohi of district Ludhiana. Subsequently, an awareness rally was taken out by the students involving the farmers as well.

Dr Ashok Kumar Dhakad, RAWE Incharge of the village Mohi, explained the role of agro-forestry in diversification. Tress like neem, popular etc. provided fresh air and helped in maintaining the balance of agro-ecosystem. The extension mechanism of PAU was a way to fortify rural agricultural activities and present-day agriculture scenario, he added.

Dr Dilpreet Talwar said that vegetable cultivation played a significant role in the diversification under traditional rice-wheat cycle. He also explained the cultivation of winter season vegetables in Punjab.

Dr Narinderpal Kaur, Professor (retd) of PAU, urged the farmers to opt for the diversification of agriculture through medicinal and fruit plants like amla, drumstick and guava. She also shared her rich experience of growing fruit and herbal plants garden in the Mohi village itself.

Dr Amit Kaul, a PAU expert, explained cultivation practices of wheat with judicious use of paddy straw by using PAU recommended technologies and machinery. He also shared the benefits of paddy straw in succeeding crop like improving soil health and reducing application of manures and fertilizer dosages in succeeding crop.

Dr Neerja Rani, a PAU expert, advised the farmers to adopt integrated farming systems and stressed upon the adoption of dairy, poultry and fishery along with growing crops on their field. She emphasized on effective utilization of cattle waste and rice-straw for the production of compost for improving soil health.

Dr Simrat Singh explained the role of flowers in diversification and cultivation practices of winter season flowers. He shared a poem with farmers regarding paddy straw management.

Elaborating the consequences of continuous rice-wheat cropping pattern, long term loss to the groundwater table, soil health and environmental pollution, Ms Asmi Brar and Ms Karamvir Kaur, B.Sc (Hons) Horticulture 4th year students, called upon the farmers to make judicious use of land and water resources by opting for the alternate cropping systems.

Dr Manveen Kaur Baath proposed a vote of thanks. Ms Ramanpreet Kaur and Ms Simranpreet Kaur, B.Sc Horticulture 4th year students, coordinated the programme.

Sarpanch, cooperative society members, progressive farmers and RAWE-402 students also participated in this camp.

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