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Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, hosted a significant workshop today focusing on “Plant Biodiversity: Conservation and Utilization”.

The inaugural function, presided over by Dr SS Gosal, the Hon’ble Vice Chancellor of PAU, featured the distribution of Biodiversity Awards to ten farmers for their commendable efforts in conserving indigenous/traditional cultivars/landraces. Dr Gosal stressed the need for a gene bank to preserve the rich heritage of plant genetic diversity and facilitate mainstream research for nutritional security.

Dr Surinder Sandhu, the Principal Investigator, highlighted that the workshop, supported by the Model Genome Club funded by RKVY, Punjab, aims to foster the collection, conservation, and utilization of indigenous/traditional cultivars/landraces of various food crops, vegetables, and fruit crops.

An exhibition showcased over 300 indigenous germplasms, including maize, wheat, barley, paddy, pulses, vegetables, oilseeds, and millets. Dr M S Bhullar, the Director of Extension at PAU, commended farmers for promoting indigenous genetic resources and proposed the establishment of a museum to raise awareness among the younger generation.

Dr CS Aulakh, the Dean of the College of Agriculture, emphasized that preserving traditional crops expands the food base and enhances food diversity. During the event, Dr Gosal and other dignitaries launched the QR-coded labelling of PAU campus trees.

The workshop’s key component was technical sessions, coordinated by Dr Harmeet Sarlach and Dr Naveen Garg. Dr Jaswinder Singh Brar, the Co-Principal Investigator, concluded the event with a vote of thanks.

The awardees include Ms Anushka Neyol, S Baljit Singh, S Gulab Singh Dhaliwal, S Gulzar Singh, S Gurmukh Singh, S Kamalpreet Singh, S Lal Singh, S Mohinder Singh Dosanjh, S Paramjit Singh, S Sahib Singh Cheema.

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