PAU virtual kisan mela concludes with tips on natural resource conservation
The two-day virtual ‘Kisan Mela’ concluded at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) amid panel discussions on natural resource management, livestock production and subsidiary occupations, processing, value addition, and farmer-producer organisations (FPOs) on Saturday.
The theme of the mela ‘Efficient paddy straw management keeps mother earth exultant’ aimed at promoting in-situ management of paddy straw.
During the discussion on natural resource management, OP Choudhary, head of the department of soil science and moderator of the session, expressed concern over groundwater depletion and crop residue management. He urged the farmers to conserve natural resources and added that PAU has evolved various technologies, such as judicious use of fertilizers, adoption of less water-requiring crops, fertigation, mulching, etc. for natural resource conservation.
NS Bains, director of research, said constructive efforts were made to enrich the knowledge of the farmers during the mela.
Farmers should adopt ‘PBW 1 Chapati’ and ‘Unnat PBW 550’ wheat varieties as these can compete with Madhya Pradesh wheat, he advised.
“Do not paint a negative perception of Punjab agriculture,” he urged the farmers while appealing to them to say no to stubble burning.
GS Kocher, head, department of microbiology; MS Bhullar, head, department of agronomy, and Sanjeev Chauhan, head, department of forestry and natural resources, spoke about biofertilizers recommended for 18 crops (mainly wheat, paddy, maize, legumes, potato, onion, turmeric, etc.); operation of PAU Happy Seeder and weed management; and agro-forestry, respectively.
In the panel discussion on livestock production and subsidiary occupations, senior entomologist Jaspal Singh and assistant mycologist Shivani Sharma deliberated upon beekeeping and mushroom production as profitable enterprises, respectively.
Experts from GADVASU and PAU advised the farmers to acquire training in subsidiary occupations like dairy, pig, goat, poultry, and fish farming, beekeeping, and mushroom cultivation before adopting them as an enterprise.
JS Mahal, director of extension education, expressed his gratitude to the farmers, farm women, and youth of Punjab for making the virtual mela a success.
Progressive farmers, representatives of industry, and entrepreneurs shared their experiences during the virtual mela.
Mela made accessible to farmers in villages
The department of extension education, PAU, helped farmers in its adopted villages to participate in the virtual mela by arranging events at PAU farmer information centres, agricultural cooperative societies, and schools.
The BSc agriculture final year students facilitated infrastructural and technical facilities at common points to facilitate the farmers.
Farmers of Kanech, Bhairomuna, Narangwal, Nurpur Bet, and Jodhan villages interacted with Kuldeep Singh, head of the department of extension education, on the virtual platform.
Experts helped farmers download the PAU Kisan App, subscribe to its Facebook page and YouTube channel.