Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) Sangrur, in its ongoing commitment to creating awareness about the harmful consequences of burning crop stubble, organized an Inter-District Kisan Mela on October 19, 2023. The event saw active participation from 1585 farmers hailing from Sangrur, Fatehgarh Sahib, Patiala, and Mohali districts.
The event’s Chief Guest, Cabinet Minister Shri Aman Arora, emphasized the importance of such fairs in introducing farmers to innovative farming techniques and improved crop seeds. Arora underscored the government’s efforts, led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Maan, to support agriculture and curb stubble burning. In particular, he stressed the ecological damage caused by burning stubble, advocating for adherence to the teachings of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, where air is revered as Guru and earth as mother.
Dr. Gurmeet Singh Buttar, Director of Extension Education, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, presided over the event and encouraged farmers to adopt the recommendations put forth by the university, emphasizing the nutritional value of paddy straw and the detriments of burning it. He called upon farmers to utilize agricultural machinery developed by the university for effective straw management.
Dr. Parvender Sheron, Director of ICAR-Attari, Zone 1, Ludhiana, explained the ongoing extension education and awareness initiatives focused on stubble management across Punjab. He urged farmers to minimize stubble burning, especially in Sangrur district.
Deputy Commissioner Sangrur, Shri Jatinder Jorwal, highlighted the duty assigned to the district administration and sector officers, who provide essential machinery to aid farmers in proper straw management. He pointed out that stubble burning negatively impacts microorganisms and beneficial insects, leading to soil fertility loss.
Sh. Mahendra Singh Sidhu, Chairman of Panseed Mohali, discussed subsidies for wheat seeds and called on farmers to consider long-term paddy varieties to facilitate stubble management.
Dr. Mandeep Singh, Associate Director (Training) at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Sangrur, welcomed guests and farmers, sharing insights into stubble management awareness activities and appealing to farmers to refrain from burning paddy straw.
Dr. Harbans Singh, Chief Agriculture Officer, Sangrur, presented information on farmer-friendly schemes by the Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department and urged farmers to maximize the use of subsidized agricultural machinery for stubble management.
Dr. Buta Singh Romana, Senior Extension Scientist (Retd.), shared his insights on the challenges and solutions related to stubble management.
The event also featured the participation of Dr. Vipan Kumar Rampal, Associate Director (Training) at Krishi Vigyan Kendra Fatehgarh Sahib, and Dr. Gurupdesh Kaur, Incharge at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Patiala.
During the technical sessions, various experts provided valuable information on topics such as soil-water testing, proper fertilizer use, agricultural machinery for crop residue management, disease and pest management, dietary use of millets, certified varieties of rabi crops, and weed management.
Awards were presented to 103 farmers who successfully managed stubble without burning it, recognizing their efforts to reduce environmental pollution. The Kisan Mela featured 45 stalls by self-help groups, individual entrepreneurs, agricultural machinery manufacturers, and government departments.
Progressive farmers shared their experiences in stubble conservation, motivating fellow farmers to adopt sustainable practices. College and school students, alongside farmers, conducted an awareness rally against straw burning to combat environmental pollution. The event also showcased the use of agricultural drones for crop spraying and provided farmers with rhubarb crop seeds, organic fertilizers, and agricultural literature.
In closing, Dr. Sunil Kumar and Dr. Ravinder Kaur expressed gratitude to the chief guest, special guests, and all attendees for their participation in this significant initiative.