Ludhiana, September 12, 2017: The Kisan Mela at Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Nag Kalan-Jahangir, Amritsar, witnessed a huge crowd of farmers. A colourful mêlée of approximately a hundred inviting stalls beckoned the teeming visitors.

The theme of the Kisan Mela was “Stop Burning Paddy Straw, Save Environment”. Latest farm technologies for ensuing Rabi crops and the standing Kharif crops were showcased. Dr Jasvir Singh Bains, Director Agriculture, Punjab, was the Chief Guest, while Sh.Kamaldeep Singh Sangha, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar, was the Guest of Honour. They took a round of various demonstration plots of Kharif crops at the KVK farm and the exhibitions that were displayed by various departments.

Presiding over the function, Dr Jasvir Singh Bains, Director Agriculture, Punjab, suggested the farmers to shun burning paddy straw. He urged them to return paddy straw and crop refuse back to the soil for maintaining soil health. He also exhorted them to go in for alternative uses such as compost making, mushroom growing, etc. Dr Bains brought to light the successful experimentation of Super SMS Technology and told the gathering about this unique attachment for combine harvesters which cuts, chops and uniformly spreads loose straw coming out of the harvester during the harvesting of paddy.

Sh. Kamaldeep Singh Sangha, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, suggested the farmers to use inputs in their fields based on expert advice and urged them to follow PAU recommendations which are cost-effective and environment friendly. He appealed to the farmers to devise mechanisms for diversification of crops, as well as be cautious of use of excessive chemical sprays. He also shared that ingenuous account keeping should be maintained so as to reduce costs. He too stressed the urgency to shun paddy burning and be responsible towards the ecology. Moreover, he appealed them to conserve water for sustainable farm development.

Dr Rajinder Singh Sidhu, Registrar, PAU, expressed his pleasure over the huge gathering at the Kisan Mela, which was a source of motivation for the scientists to delve into more extensive research. He urged them to attend melas and trainings from time to time so as to keep themselves abreast of the latest technology related to farming. He pressed upon them to focus on cooperative marketing and mechanization. He also appealed to them to avail of farm loans judiciously and spend the same for the very reasons they sought it for. He further appealed them to cut unnecessary agricultural costs.

Dr Ashok Kumar, Director of Extension Education, stressed upon the need to purchase quality seeds from PAU which ensure improved yield and assured profit to farmers. He called upon the farmers to opt for crop diversification and stated if a majority of farmers went in for kitchen gardening, we would be able to bring at least one lakh acre of land in Punjab under the cultivation of vegetables and pulses, which would give a boost to agricultural economy. He appealed to the farmers to participate in the trainings regarding subsidiary enterprises which could be availed from different KVKs established throughout Punjab.

Dr Didar Singh Bhatti, Additional Director of Extension Education, while welcoming the dignitaries and the farmers, called upon them to follow PAU recommendations and also advised them to keep themselves abreast of the latest farming techniques.

Dr Karanjeet Singh Thind, Head, Department of Plant Breeding & Genetics highlighted the research priorities of PAU and educated the farmers about recently recommended varieties of Wheat, Raya Sarson, Summer Moong and Berseem etc. He elaborated that the university is presently engaged in carrying research work on more than a hundred crops and 816 varieties of different crops have already been developed by the scientists till date.

The mela also saw the presence of Dr Dalbir Singh Chhina, Chief Agriculture Officer, Amritsar and Dr Ranjit Singh, Deputy Director, Horticulture, Amritsar. Dr Dalbir Singh Chhina highlighted various lucrative schemes of the agriculture department.

Representatives of various departments from PAU interacted with the farmers to dispel their apprehensions and provide information on useful technology tips. Technical experts from various departments of PAU educated the farmers on various aspects of cultivation of forthcoming Rabi crops.

A huge rush of farmers for purchase of seeds of Rabi crops and vegetable mini-kits was witnessed. Farmers also purchased farm literature and fruit plants from the sale outlets that were set-up for the purpose.

Dr Bhupinder Singh Dhillon, Associate Director-cum-organizer of Kisan Divas, KVK, Amritsar, suggested the farmers to regularly participate in Kisan Melas and other transfer of technology programmes of PAU and to develop the habit of reading farm literature brought out by PAU. He thanked all the esteemed guests, scientists and farmers for making this event successful.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017