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Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, has continuously taken proactive measures to combat the issue of paddy straw burning, a significant environmental concern. The university has championed the concept of in-situ paddy straw management, which prevents straw burning and enhances soil health and productivity. In a significant move towards this goal, PAU has entered into agreements with eleven prominent farm machinery manufacturers in Punjab to commercialize the revolutionary PAU Surface Seeder Technology.

The partnering manufacturers include Gobind Agriculture Works, Bir Singh and Sons, Dhanjal Agriculture Industries, Punjab Engineering Works, New Kissan Agro Tech, Saron Mechanical Works, New Guru Nanak Engineering Works, Wadhwa Agro Industries, Guru Nanak Engineering Works, Super New Punjab Engineering Works, and New Punjab Mechanical Works.

Dr. Satbir Singh Gosal, Vice Chancellor, PAU, commended these manufacturers for their commitment to improving soil health and the environment. He reaffirmed PAU’s dedication to eradicating the harmful practice of stubble burning.

Dr A.S Dhatt, Director of Research, PAU, emphasized the cost-effectiveness of the PAU Surface Seeder Technology for timely wheat sowing without the need for paddy residue burning. He pointed out that the technology reduces the cost per acre of wheat sowing to Rs. 700 to 800. Dr Dhatt also stressed the importance of allowing the field to dry during wheat sowing and ending the last irrigation of paddy on time.

Dr G.S. Manes, Additional Director of Research in Farm Mechanization and Bio Energy, highlighted the Punjab Government’s subsidy program, providing Rs. 64,000 to farmers’ groups and Rs. 40,000 to individual farmers to purchase Surface seeding machines.

Dr MS Bhullar, Head of the Department of Agronomy, and Dr J S Gill, Agronomist, shared that farmers were enthusiastic about using Surface Seeding Technology during the field trials conducted by PAU last year. They emphasized the numerous benefits, including improved crop stands, resistance to harsh weather conditions, water conservation, and reduced herbicide use.

Dr Khushdeep Dharni, Associate Director of the Technology Marketing and IPR Cell, revealed that PAU has already signed 15 Memorandums of Agreement (MOAs) with farm machinery manufacturers to disseminate the PAU surface seeding technology at the grassroots level. He hinted at further MOAs to promote this transformative technology.

The event also saw the presence of Dr GS Mangat, ADR (Crop Improvement), Dr Pushpinder Singh, ADR (Plant Protection), and Dr Mahesh Narang, Head of the Department of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering.

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