Adopt maize cultivation, organic farming: Punjab Agricultural University V-C to farmers
A series of virtual kisan melas being held by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) kicked at Ballowal Saunkhri in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district on Wednesday. It was attended by farmers, farm women and rural youths. The theme of the mela was: “efficient paddy straw management keeps mother earth exultant.”
Inaugurating the mela, Anirudh Tewari, additional chief secretary (development), Punjab, and vice-chancellor of PAU, said, the prosperity of the farmers is one of the thrust areas of the state government. Expressing concern over soil health and groundwater situation in Kandi area, he urged the farmers to adopt PAU recommended crop system for the region. He stressed upon promoting maize cultivation and organic farming in the area.
PAU’s College of Agriculture has been established at Ballowal Saunkhri to conduct research and provide solutions to agriculture-related problems of the Kandi region and motivate youngsters to adopt agriculture as a profession. Tewari called upon the farmers to say no to paddy straw burning and adopt technologies such as happy seeder and super seeder for its management.
Highlighting the latest research recommendations made by PAU, Dr Navtej Singh Bains, director of research, said the university has developed new varieties such as PBW 803, PBW 824 and PBW 869 of wheat; BL 44 of berseem and OL 15 of oats for general cultivation in Punjab.
He said that PAU has developed a new machine, “PAU smart seeder”, for the management of paddy straw. It manages paddy residues by incorporation and surface mulching and retains benefits of happy seeder and super seeder in a single machine, he added.
Dr Jaskarn Singh Mahal, director of extension education, said the virtual melas will provide in-depth knowledge about agriculture and allied occupations to the farmers and farm women and help boost their earnings.
During the mela, panel discussions were held on judicious water use for crop production and agricultural diversification opportunities in Kandi region.