A two-day research and extension specialists' workshop on kharif crops began at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Monday. Chief agriculture officers, deputy directors, and joint directors from the state department of agriculture; directors of regional research stations; deputy or associate directors from Krishi Vigyan Kendras and subject-matter specialists from Farm Advisory Service Scheme are participating in the workshop.
In his inaugural remarks, chief guest, Baldev Singh Dhillon, vice-chancellor, PAU, appealed to all the agriculture officers to convince the farmers to go in for profit oriented agriculture rather than just maximising yields. Stating that paddy is a challenging crop in terms of water requirement and fertiliser use, he underlined the need for conserving precious natural resources. “The future requirement calls for focus on fruits and vegetables, fishery, poultry, dairy and fodder,” he remarked. Dr Dhillon suggested bringing out package of practices covering technologies for sustainable agriculture.
The guest of honour, Dr Mangal Singh Sandhu, director of agriculture, Punjab, congratulated the farmers, PAU scientists and officers of the state agriculture department for working collectively to enable Punjab to win prestigious 'Krishi Karman Award 2013-14'. “On February 20, 2015, Punjab will be honoured with the award for emerging as the best performing state in food grains production,” he revealed. Dr Sandhu observed that there is a need to employ youth for speedy dissemination of need-based technology to the farmers through internet or SMS service.
Regarding the notification on paddy sowing in Punjab, he told that the date has been changed from June 10 to June 15. In the upcoming kharif season, the department of agriculture plans to bring 17 lakh hectare under non-basmati, 10 lakh hectare under basmati, 5 lakh hectare under cotton, 1.80 lakh under maize, 1.10 lakh under sugarcane and some area under pulses, he added.
Balwinder Singh, director of research, informed about various production and plant protection technologies.
Earlier, while welcoming the dignitaries and the participants, HS Dhaliwal, dean, college of agriculture, said that Punjab has been designated as “Bread Basket of India.” The state is producing 22% of paddy, 34% of wheat, 13% of cotton, 37% of honey, 40% of mushroom and 10% of milk of the country, he highlighted. Besides, he stressed on promoting diversification by shifting some area from under rice to maize, pulses, fruits, vegetables, oilseed crops.
Director of extension education RS Sidhu proposed a vote of thanks.
Associate professor of extension education TS Riar coordinated the programme. Technical sessions on package of practices for rice, cotton, oilseeds, forage, millets, pulses and maize crops were held. An exhibition was also put up by different departments of PAU.