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Agricultural community thronged the Kisan Mela of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) at the Regional Research Station, Faridkot today. Although rain played a spoilsport, yet it failed to dampen the spirits of the farmers. Based on the theme “Vigyanak kheti de rang, PAU de Kisan Melayan sang,” the mela celebrated scientific farming through the evolvement of new crop varieties and technologies. Sale of improved seed and other planting material as well as farm publications attracted multitude of farmers.

The chief guest of the mela, Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, expressed his gratitude to the State government for opening the gates of Raja Harinder Singh Seed Farm, Faridkot once again. Raising serious concerns over the challenges of depleting water resources, deteriorating soil health, fluctuating weather conditions and sliding farm income, Dr Gosal underscored the need for sowing non-water intensive crops and adopting subsidiary occupations such as beekeeping, mushroom cultivation, agro-processing and value addition, and animal husbandry for reaping added revenue. Besides, he urged the farmers to control farm fires and instead use PAU evolved technologies, the recent recommendation being the ‘Surface Seeding – cum- Mulching Technology’ which reports no-lodging, withstands abrasive weather conditions, saves water and lessens herbicide use.

Sardar Amanpreet Singh Brar, Member, Board of Management, PAU, who was the guest of honour, lamented water, climate and financial crises of Punjab. Pointing out the overuse of water, he advised using drip irrigation for conserving water. Besides, he also stressed upon dousing farm fires for the benefit of the entire humanity.

Dr AS Dhatt, Director of Research, while throwing light on research accomplishments of PAU, informed that the University has developed and recommended 940 crop varieties till date, of which 229 have been released at the national level. Calling upon the farmers to refrain from using un-recommended varieties, he highlighted the salient features of the newly recommended varieties including PBW Zinc 2, PBW RS 1 and PBW 826 of wheat; PBG 10 of chickpea; IPFD 12-2 of field pea and Ajmer Fennel 2 of fennel. With the approaching of paddy harvesting season, Dr Dhatt appealed to the farmers not to set fire to the paddy straw, but rather use PAU Happy Seeder, PAU Smart Seeder, Super Seeder and Surface Seeder technologies for its management.

Dr GS Buttar, Director of Extension Education, while welcoming the heavy rush of farmers to the mela, remarked that the active participation speaks of the immense faith and trust that farmers repose in PAU. Making a call for connecting with PAU via social media, he asked the farmers to give their feedback for revising the research and extension programmes of PAU.

Dr Kuldeep Singh, Director, Regional Research Station, Faridkot, proposed a vote of thanks.

Dr TS Riar, Additional Director Communication, coordinated the programme.

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