A nine-member delegation from Malawi visited the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Thursday and interacted with PK Khanna, registrar and other senior officials of the University.
The delegation was apprised of Punjab agriculture by the PAU experts and visited biotechnology laboratory, experimental area of department of plant breeding and genetics and Museum of Social History and Rural Life of Punjab, PAU.
The delegation was led by WG Lipita, controller of agriculture extension and technical services, Malawi.
P Chandrashekhara, director (agriculture extension), Manage, Hyderabad coordinated the visit, organised as a part of triangular programme of India-US-Africa.
Presenting an overview of PAU, Khanna explained the delegation about three major components i.e. research, teaching and extension programmes. He presented the PAU dockets of information to the delegation members.
Highlighting research accomplishments, SS Gosal, director of research, said PAU emerged as a leader in conservation agriculture by developing zero tillage, leaf colour chart, tensiometer, happy seeder and laser leveler technologies.
The University has released 730 varieties/hybrids till date, out of which, 130 have been released at the national level, he said. Besides, the PAU has carved a niche for itself in beekeeping, mushroom growing, farm machinery development, setting-up of agro-processing units, and development of integrated pest management technologies, he added.
Gursharan Singh, dean, postgraduate studies, said that the major mandate of PAU includes teaching, conducting research, transferring technology to the farmers and farm organisations, and providing diverse technical services to the agro-industry.
He explained the delegation about organisational set-up of PAU, its human resource development, academic programmes, new initiatives and collaborations in education, enrollment of international students, national awards and coveted positions won and held by PAU alumni.
Referring to extension mechanism of PAU, MIS Gill, additional director of extension education, said that the current focus was on resource conservation technologies, farm diversification, agriculture sustainability and abiotic and biotic stress management. He said that there were 17 Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), which cover all agro-climatic zones of the state.
Earlier, BS Sohal, additional director communication, welcomed the dignitaries and the visiting delegation. He gave a brief introduction of the PAU experts and highlighted the achievements of the University.
The delegation members evinced interest in knowing about the tools to gather feedback from farmers, international collaborations, research projects, linkage between research and extension, linkage between the University and the state, academic programmes and agriculture marketing.
The PAU experts included PS Chahal, associate director of research; RK Gumber, additional director of research (crop improvement); JS Dhiman, additional director of research (natural resource and plant health management); and MS Sidhu, head, department of economics and sociology.