A 17-member delegation of the scientists from Nigeria visited Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Monday to have a wider perspective of teaching, research and extension programmes at the university.
The delegation led by Dr Ahmed H Usman, director, partnership and linkages, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, visited PAU under the West Africa Agricultural Productivity Programme. The visiting members interacted with the senior officials of the PAU, representatives of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), programme coordinators of various Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs) of Punjab, and faculty members of different departments of the university.
AM Narula, zonal project director, ICAR, Zone-I, Ludhiana, spoke on coordination, monitoring and management of krishi vigyan kendras at the zone level. He said 20 KVKs were operational in Punjab, 18 in Haryana, 12 in Himachal Pradesh, 18 in Jammu and Kashmir, and one in New Delhi.
A total of 635 KVKs were functioning in the country, he added, while describing the KVK model as 'indigenous'. Narula said many new initiatives, such as national information system for pest management, integrated nutrition garden, public private partnership, climate resilience in agriculture, and Kisan Mobile Advisory Service have been taken.
Sharing the research highlights of the PAU, SS Gosal, director of research, said to address various on-going farm issues, the university research was laying emphasis on agriculture, bio-energy, minimising chemical residue in agriculture, development of climate resilient and water saving technologies, strengthening of value addition and agro-processing, and promoting crop diversification in Punjab. He said PAU was conducting research on more than 100 crops presently.
Presenting an overview of the extension education services, MS Gill, director of extension education, said the major focus was on precision farming, improving livelihood of the small and marginal farmers, and providing cost-effective farm technologies to the farming community. He said exhibitions, farmer-scientist interface, kisan melas, field days, agricultural workshops, kisan mobile advisory service, PAU doots, and awareness campaigns, were some of the strong extension modes.
The delegation leader Dr Usman said the main motive of visiting the university was to have detailed discussion with the experts about teaching, research and extension activities.
A fruitful interaction was held wherein the delegation sought queries on the role of KVK in technology transfer, adoption of farm technologies by the farmers, and seed production programme.