To gain in-depth understanding of farm mechanisation, a 16-member delegation from African countries including Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya, and Zimbabwe, visited the College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology (COAE&T) of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Monday.
The delegation led by engineer Saidi Mkomwa, executive secretary, and African Conservation Tillage Network; comprises farm manufacturers and scientists from national systems and farm universities.
The visit is a part of two-week training-cum-study tour on, 'Farm Mechanisation for African Stakeholders,' led by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) under a tripartite collaboration amongst ICAR, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
In his welcome address, Dr PPS Lubana, dean, COAE&T, said that farm mechanisation plays a key role in agriculture.
Highlighting the success story of laser land lever technology in the Punjab state, he told that this technique helps in the uniform application of water, levels fields precisely, and saves irrigation water up to 30%.
Presenting an overview of organisational set-up of the college and highlighting key accomplishments, Dr Lubana said that PAU conducts training, on different aspects of agri-engineering, at state as well as at the national level.
Dr JS Mahal, additional director of research (farm mechanisation and bio-energy), said, “The scientific interaction amongst the experts and delegation members should result into fruitful outcome so that mechanisation skills, applied in Punjab, can be effectively used in African countries as well.”
Dr HS Sidhu, senior research engineer, CIMMYT, Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA), stated, “The involvement of the scientists, manufacturers, and farmers is vital for success and development of farm machinery.”
He informed that delegation visited BISA, Ladhowal, wherein the experts demonstrated conservation agricultural practices and related machinery, in addition to water management trial on spring maize, direct seeding of summer moong into wheat residue using happy seeder, and various other research trials.