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Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, recently convened a significant meeting led by Dr. Satbir Singh Gosal, the Vice-Chancellor, to address the surging demand for fruit plants and high-value floriculture crops developed by the institution. The meeting witnessed the presence of eminent figures such as Dr. Ajmer Singh Dhatt, Director of Research, Dr. Manav Indra Singh Gill, Dean of Post Graduate Studies, Dr. Parminder Singh, Head of the Department of Floriculture, faculty members, and distinguished fruit scientists including Dr. H.S. Rattanpal, Head of the Department of Fruit Science.

Dr. Gosal highlighted the increasing popularity of PAU’s fruit plants among orchard growers due to their authenticity, bypassing the usual 3-4 years’ time loss encountered with plants obtained from private nurseries. However, he emphasized the pressing issue of meeting the escalating demand. Currently producing around 7 lakh plants annually, Dr. Gosal stressed the urgency to escalate this figure to at least 9 lakh per year. Additionally, the discussion revolved around the necessity for high-value floriculture plants.

Dr. Harminder Singh, Principal Fruit Scientist, delved into the specifics of various evergreen (kinnow, guava, mango, litchi, etc.) and deciduous (low chilling pear, peach, plum, etc.) fruit plants developed by PAU, elucidating the strategies to expand their root stock. The department plans to draft an action plan encompassing infrastructural needs, manpower, existing facilities, and setting achievable targets. Dr. Parminder Singh further expounded upon standardized protocols for floricultural plants, their multiplication, and potential alternatives.

Simultaneously, preparations for the upcoming Indo-US Workshop on Horticultural Crops, scheduled for January 23-24, 2024, were also discussed. A high-level delegation from California State University, Fresno, will be participating. The meeting addressed essential aspects such as registration procedures, keynote speakers, panelists, exhibitions, student interactions, technical sessions, and logistics like field visits, venue arrangements, citrus shows, hospitality, transportation, accommodation, fundraising, and more.

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