Punjab Agricultural University's (PAU) 'Kisan Mela' and Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University's (GADVASU) 'Pashu Palan Mela' began on Friday. The two-day fests aim at fostering diversification in agriculture and allied activities.
The PAU mela was inaugurated by agriculture minister Tota Singh and GADVASU fest was inaugurated by additional agriculture secretary, Punjab, Suresh Kumar.
Punjab Agricultural University
Inaugurating the mela, chief guest Jathedar Tota Singh, minister of agriculture and NRI affairs, Punjab, congratulated the state farmers and PAU for enabling the state to emerge as a numero uno state in agriculture in India. Singh said, “With surplus food grain production, marketing system needs to be strengthened.” He appealed to the Central government to find out ways and means for procurement of paddy and wheat from Punjab. “The state government is providing subsidy on tractors. There are already 4,80,000 tractors in Punjab,” he said.
He highlighted the budget allotment to agriculture, power, and PAU; and ensured the farmers that the Punjab government is committed to serve them in future as well.
Guest of honour GS Kalkat, chairman, Punjab State Farmers' Commission and former PAU vice-chancellor observed that farmers have always been serving the country and the state.
But now, they should serve themselves and the future generations by saving water, he said. Dr Kalkat suggested growing alternative crops like maize, basmati, soybean, vegetables, etc. “If 8-9 lakh farming families adopt vegetable cultivation, beekeeping and dairy farming, they can enhance their income,” he added. Dr Kalkat also called upon the farmers to reduce their superfluous expenses and go for social reform movement in villages. He stressed on providing good education facilities to the rural children.
PAU vice-chancellor Baldev Singh Dhillon stressed on crop diversification and use of water and fertilisers judiciously.
Meanwhile, five progressive farmers were honoured. Harvinder Singh of Padlawad village, Sangrur; Ravinder Singh Brar of Kauni village, Muktsar; were conferred with the Chief Minister Award for excellence in agriculture. Besides, Gurjit Singh Mahal of Burj village, Bathinda, got Chief Minister Award for excellence in horticulture. Ramandeep Singh of Rauri Kapura village, Faridkot; and Rajinder Pal Singh of Kalal Wala village, Bathinda; were awarded CRI Pumps Award for adopting farm mechanisation and for excellence in organic farming, respectively.
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University
GADVASU V-C AS Nanda said diversification within the livestock is also a need of the hour. Not only dairy farming but fisheries, poultry, piggery and goat farming are the fine diversification options in livestock.
Nanda said efforts were being made to explore the new avenues in livestock. “We have developed a number of value added products from a single raw product, it increases demand and scope of marketing many times. We are exploring health foods with new value additions,” he said.
Various departments of the college of veterinary science put up their stall in the mela. The excellent germplasm of the university such as cows, buffaloes, goats, pigs, poultry, emu and quails were demonstrated to the livestock farmers.
The experts delivered talks on the various aspects of livestock, poultry and fish farming and the mechanism and procedures to overcome the common problems faced by them. Live demonstrations on the various aspects along with 'mastitis diagnosing kit', teat dip practice and acaricide drug application were also demonstrated to the farmers.
An earnest endeavour by the College of Fisheries was the stall having various carp fishes, ornamental fish, azolla, duckweed cultivation and duck farming with integration of fish farming. People enquired about fisheries profession, ornamental fish and saline water fisheries. Value added products of this college were also displayed on their stall for sale.
The chief minister's awards were conferred on four progressive livestock farmers. Ranjit Singh of Rohla village near Ludhiana and Sahib Singh of Mehta, Amritsar, won the cattle category awards.
The award in poultry category went to Mohit Raja of Bathonia village near Patiala. The fourth award was bagged by Gurmukh Singh from Mehal Kalan village near Barnala in goat category.