Conservation body holds parleys with agri varsity experts on crop residue management in Ludhiana
The Nature Conservancy (TNC) discussed promoting regenerative and no-burn agriculture with Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in India. The organizations explored collaborations in crop residue management and other mutually beneficial areas. The PAU emphasized its efforts in short duration rice varieties, in-situ residue management, and climate resilient technologies. TNC expressed interest in partnering with PAU to eliminate crop residue burning and promote sustainable agriculture.
The global team of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), India, held discussion with the experts of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on promoting regenerative and no-burn agriculture (PRANA). The delegation deliberated on crop residue management and explore mutually beneficial areas for future collaborations.
The delegation, led by Jennifer Morris, chief executive officer, USA, and Annapurna Vancheswaran, managing director, TNC, India, held parleys with PAU V-C Satbir Singh Gosal and deans, directors, additional directors, and heads of various departments of the University. PRANA India project director Guru Koppa also accompanied the delegation.
Explaining the genesis and thrust areas of PAU, Gosal said “The university, modelled on the pattern of Land Grant Universities of USA, has forged strong bilateral ties with various organisations, educational institutions and industry for student-faculty exchange, commercialization of technologies, skill development and other research and extension areas. These collaborations have propelled PAU, students and farming community to scale great heights academically, agriculturally and economically. In addition to securing top rank among agricultural universities of India in 2023, it is numero uno in the development of wheat and rice varieties in India, as well. ”
Voicing concern over the issues of water depletion, stubble burning and climate change, he said the high productivity was the main reason behind all the emerging challenges and that the University was focusing on recommending short duration rice varieties, in-situ management of crop residue and development of climate resilient varieties and technologies. Besides paddy straw management, he suggested partnering in food processing, value addition and marketing also. Gosal apprised the delegation of solar energy, nanotechnology, organic farming, use of Artificial Intelligence in farm mechanization, etc. and PAU’s extensive outreach to 11 lakh farmers via WhatsApp groups.
Morris, while lauding the contributions and commitment of PAU towards agriculture that steered Green Revolution, evinced interest in holding joint venture in the area of environment protection with emphasis on putting full stop to straw torching. “TNC is a wide-reaching environmental organization, having its roots in 79 countries,” she said, adding that mutual collaboration can avert the crisis and result in sustainable environment.
In her remarks, Vancheswaran said TNC aimed at arriving at a tipping point to eliminate crop residue burning across Northwest India. With regenerative agriculture in-focus and to associate 2.5 lakh farmers with non-burning agriculture by 2025, TNC would like to enter into cooperation with PAU, having vast agricultural experience of 60 years, in the area of crop residue management to stop paddy blaze.