Ludhiana, February 26, 2013: A 30- member delegation from Liberia, Kenya and Malawi visited the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today under the US-INDIA-AFRICA triangular international training programme on “New Dimensions in Agricultural Extension Management.”
The delegation comprised members working in different disciplines of agriculture such as extension, food security, animal sciences, farm management, aquaculture, etc. Dr P. Chandra Shekara, Director, Agricultural Extension, National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management, Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India, led the visiting delegation.
In his remarks, Dr Chandra Shekara highly praised the PAU for its excellent linkages and closeness with the farming community, and for the cooperation amongst the administrative, academic, research and extension components of the University. He said that the two-month training programme is a regular feature of US-INDIA-AFRICA, which seeks to cater to the needs of the food security issue.
Presenting the research highlights of the PAU, Dr S.S. Gosal, Director of Research, PAU, highlighted that since inception, the PAU has recommended/released nearly 715 crop varieties and hybrids at state and national level. In addition to working on crop improvement, agricultural biotechnology, agro-forestry, beekeeping, mushroom production, farm mechanization, and precision agriculture, the PAU is focusing on secondary agriculture such as value addition and processing of food grains, he told. Informing that the Punjab state is producing more than 37% per cent of honey, Dr Gosal said that there are nearly 33,000 beekeepers in the state.
About transfer of technology mechanism, Dr M.S. Gill, Director of Extension Education, PAU, said that the University is having an outstanding outreach to the farmers and was a pioneer in the organization of Kisan Melas and agricultural workshops. “For the quick dissemination of farm technologies, and to see new innovations and receive feedback, the PAU Directorate of Extension Education alongwith the 17 Krishi Vigyan Kendras and 12 Farm Advisory Service Scheme in various parts of the state, organizes trainings, campaigns, workshops, frontline demonstrations, field days, and farmers’ group discussions. Dr Gill further added the University has covered about 6,000 farmers under “PAU Doots” concept who act as ambassadors in disseminating farm technologies. He highlighted that the farm literature, published by the Centre for Communication and International Linkages, has gained momentum amongst the farmers.
Welcoming the dignitaries and the delegates, Dr H.S. Sehgal, Additional Director of Communication, said that PAU is a premiere agriculture institutions of the country, which has performed remarkably well in the field of education, research and transfer of technology. The PAU is a big attraction for the foreign students, he highlighted, adding that 34 students from 13 Asian and African countries have been enrolled in different academic programmes of the University. Dr Sehgal also gave the key outlines of the organisational set-up of the PAU, besides highlighting its accomplishments.
The delegation also interacted with Dr M.S. Mahal, Director of Punjab Agricultural Management and Extension Training Institute (PAMETI) and Dr Ramandeep Jassal, Deputy Director (Public Relations). To strengthen extension programmes in their respective countries, the delegates sought queries regarding bee-keeping, agro-forestry, functioning of KVKs, and pesticide spray application. The PAU experts responded to all the queries during interactive session.