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The Department of Plant Pathology, Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), organized a farmer-scientist interface on “Integrated Disease Management” in collaboration with Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Noormahal at village Dhogri in Jalandhar district. More than 60 participants including progressive potato growers, scientists from the Departments of Plant Pathology and Vegetable Science, and Krishi Vigyan Kendra and Farm Advisory Service Centre, Jalandhar participated in this interface.

Presiding over the event, Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, commended the potato growers of Doaba region for making Punjab a potato seed hub that meets more than 60% of the country’s needs. He highlighted that with the concerted efforts of PAU, Department of Horticulture and progressive potato growers, Punjab has become the first Indian state to ratify the tissue culture-based seed potato act for regulating the quality of potato seeds which makes certification and traceability of potato seed mandatory to ensure quality control. It can lead to the development of the Jalandhar-Kapurthala belt as a potato export hub, he added. Dr Gosal also held a detailed discussion on emerging challenges affecting potato producers.

Informing about PAU’s potato breeding and protection program, Dr AS Dhatt, Director of Research, highlighted the University’s efforts in developing new technologies for potato cultivation.

Dr GS Buttar, Director of Extension Education, shed light on extension activities of PAU and urged progressive potato growers to give their regular feedback to popularize new technologies on a wider scale.

In his welcome remarks, Dr PS Sandhu, Head, Department of Plant Pathology, highlighted the department’s role in monitoring disease outbreaks and managing them. He acknowledged the active support of KVK, Noormahal in organizing the program.

Experts Dr Sandeep Jain and Dr Satpal Sharma shared important tips about integrated disease management and seed treatment in potatoes as well as deliberated on Good Agricultural Practices and varieties for potato cultivation, respectively.

Dr Amarjit Singh, Dr Gobinder Singh and Dr Abhishek Sharma dwelt upon seed treatment practices in various crops, stressed upon judicious use of fertilizers in potatoes and discussed viruses affecting potato crop and their management, respectively.

The meeting was followed by a panel discussion for making future agenda with the common efforts of PAU and potato growers. To popularize new seed treatment technology recommended by Department of Plant Pathology, PAU, the farmers were provided 60 ‘Potato Seed Treatment and Personal Safety Kits’.

The Deputy Director (Training) of KVK Noormahal Dr Sanjeev Kataria proposed a vote of thanks.

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