A national symposium on 'Agricultural diversification for sustainable livelihood and environmental security' began at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Tuesday amidst a gathering of eminent farm scientists and delegates from across the country.
The three-day symposium has been jointly organised by PAU and Indian Society of Agronomy (ISA). Padma Bhushan awardee RS Paroda, chairman, Trust for Advancement of Agricultural Sciences, and former director general, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi was the chief guest.
Paroda pointed out that natural resources were dwindling and land availability was shrinking
"We don't want pesticides and fertilizers to be used injudiciously, green house gas emissions to emerge and natural resources to be exploited in excess. The need of the hour is to adopt foresight approach, re-reorient research agenda, conduct innovative and farmer's participatory research, and provide low-cost and less input requiring technology to the farmers," he said.
The guest of honour, Panjab Singh, president, Foundation for Advancement of Agriculture and Rural Development, and Ex-DG, ICAR said, "We are the largest producers of natural resources. But how to sustain the resources is our biggest challenge."
Meanwhile, JS Samra, CEO, National Rainfed Area Authority, Government of India, said, "Be innovative and think out of box."
"Make in India mission, launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to be a real challenge for all sectors including agriculture," he added.
In his presidential remarks, Baldev Singh Dhillon, vice-chancellor, PAU said they had made tremendous advancement in agriculture. "Although productivity is being enhanced, yet there has been triple the amount of increase in the use of agro-chemicals in Punjab and Haryana during the last three years," he said.
TS Lamba, Ambika Singh and Arvind Kumar were awarded the ISA Life Time Achievement Award. Besides, seven scientists received the ISA Gold Medal, 16 ISA Fellow, two best PhD thesis and two best MSc thesis awards, two best research paper awards as well as the PS Deshmukh Young Scientist Award respectively.