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To encourage sustainable agricultural practices and reduce the overreliance on paddy cultivation in Punjab, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Hoshiarpur, under the guidance of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, organized a field day to demonstrate the success of soybean cultivation. The event, held in Khanpur village on October 25, 2023, aimed to showcase the positive outcomes of soybean demonstrations conducted across the district and promote soybean cultivation as a viable alternative.

Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agricultural University, graced the occasion as the chief guest. Dr Gurmeet Singh Buttar, Director of Extension Education, PAU, joined as a special guest. The event witnessed the participation of prominent agricultural experts, including Dr Kanwar Barjinder Singh, Dr Balwinder Singh Gill, and other distinguished scientists, all advocating for the adoption of soybean as a profitable and sustainable crop.

Dr Gosal, in his address, emphasized the importance of engaging the youth in agriculture and cited examples of NRIs encouraging their children to pursue agricultural professions. He also advocated for responsible residue management, discouraging residue burning, and urged farmers to explore opportunities in soy paneer and soy milk production.

Dr Buttar discussed natural resource management practices, integrated nutrition management, and the need for judicious agro-chemical use. He encouraged farmers to utilize the services of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) for vocational training and skill development.

During the event, Dr Balwinder Singh Gill, Principal Soybean Breeder at PAU, shared insights on the improved soybean cultivar, SL 958, and discussed cultivation practices, fertilizer management, and weed control. He highlighted that soybean is gaining popularity in the Kandi region due to its reduced water and pesticide requirements, resistance to wildlife damage, and minimal maintenance needs.

Dr Kanwar Barjinder Singh focused on soil and water conservation techniques suitable for the Kandi region of Punjab, explaining how these measures can increase crop productivity and reduce soil erosion under rain-fed conditions.

Dr Maninder Singh Bons, Associate Director (Training), KVK, Hoshiarpur, expressed gratitude and emphasized the purpose of soybean demonstrations and their impact on the district. He informed attendees that approximately 400 acres of land have recently been dedicated to soybean cultivation, and KVK has initiated soybean seed production to meet farmer demand. Additionally, he stressed the importance of following PAU’s recommendations for the betterment of the farming community.

The event featured technical lectures on improved cultivation techniques for various crops and discussions on subsidiary occupations and paddy residue management. Dr Gosal and Dr Buttar visited a soybean demonstration plot and honored successful soybean farmers and processors for their dedication to this crop. An exhibition showcasing the latest agricultural techniques by PAU and the sale of various seeds and agricultural products were also organized to benefit local farmers. The event highlighted the commitment of KVK and PAU to promoting sustainable and profitable agriculture in Punjab.

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