Kisan Mela witnesses heavy footfall

Kisan Mela witnesses heavy footfall
Visitors look at saplings of different crops in Bathinda on Tuesday.

Tribune News Service

Bathinda, March 28

Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) organised Kisan Mela at its Regional Research Station here today. Farmers from Bathinda and neighboring areas thronged the one-day fair. According to observers, the fair witnessed heavy footfall as compared to last year. Heavy rush of farmers was seen at the mela, wherein they interacted with experts to seek solution to their farm queries, saw live demonstrations, purchased quality seeds, planting material and PAU farm publications. On the occasion, a number of stalls were put up by different departments of the PAU to provide a platform to the visiting farmers to interact with scientists, to know about newly released crop varieties and latest technologies. Scientists of the Plant Breeding and Genetics Department, PAU, told the farmers about the newly released varieties — Punjab Basmati 4 and Punjab Basmati 5 of Basmati; Co Pb 92 and Co Pb 93 of sugarcane. Dr SS Gosal, member, board of management, PAU, was the chief guest of the event. He asked the farmers to share their problems with scientists that would help the university to redirect its research accordingly. He exhorted the farmers to make judicious use of the limited resources like water, fertilisers and insecticides to reduce the expenses. He said the practice of paddy stubble should be used as manure. Apprising the farmers of new agricultural strategies of the PAU, he said, “Scientists are working towards incorporating BT gene into the cotton hybrid variety. It will be available for the sale in another year or two.” Dr RS Sidhu, director, extension education, PAU, expressed satisfaction with the huge rush at the fair and with impressive participation of the farmers. He urged the farmers to attend Kisan Melas from time to time as these were meant to disseminate information about the latest agricultural technologies and recent advances in farm practices. Dr Sidhu also advised the farmers to follow the field practices suggested by the PAU experts. He encouraged them to adopt subsidiary occupations such as beekeeping, mushroom cultivation and food processing to increase their income. Dr Ashok Kumar, director of research, PAU, said, “The university is conducting a research on over 100 crops and has developed a total of 799 crop varieties or hybrids to date. The PAU is now reprioritising its research in perspective of new challenges faced by agriculture with particular emphasis on depleting water resources, climate change and rising cost of cultivation”
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