An advance course on "Conservation Agriculture: Gateway for Productive and Sustainable Cropping Systems" began at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Monday. The course is jointly organised by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre, Cereal System Initiative for South Asia (CSISA), Punjab Hub and PAU.
The course that will end on June 9 is being attended by participants from Iran, Afghanistan, China, Bangladesh and India.
Inaugurating the programme, chief guest Baldev Singh Dhillon, vice-chancellor, PAU, said India's agricultural production had jumped to 253 million tones in 2011.
"The cropping intensity which was 126% in 1996 has risen to nearly 190% at present," he said.
Dr Dhillon emphasised the need to adopt conservation agriculture practices for efficient use of water and nutrients and preservation of natural resources.
"In order to meet the national food requirements, technology innovations in farm sector and their proper dissemination to the farming community is vital," he said.
Lauding the progress of the PAU in conservation agriculture, he advised the farmers to adopt university-designed techniques such as Laser Land Leveller and Happy Seeder for productivity enhancement and resource conservation.
ML Jat, senior cropping system agronomist, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (India), presenting an overview of the course, said trainees from varied spheres, including agronomy, soil science, engineering, plant breeding and plant pathology were participating in the programme.
Jat added that conservation agriculture acted as a vehicle for change for sustainable natural resources and crop management.