Punjab Agricultural University’s Kisan Mela at Rauni, Patiala saw a display of more than 60 stalls showcasing the latest farm technologies for the oncoming Rabi season, apart from demonstrations and exhibits by various departments of PAU. The theme of the mela based on environment protection by refraining from burning paddy stubble and cutting expenses on social functions resonated well with the farmers who were seen thronging the mela stalls for buying quality seed and PAU publications.
Chief Guest, Dr Rajbir Singh, Director ATARI, Zone 1, Ludhiana exhorted the farmers to refrain from burning paddy straw while making use of the leaf colour chart to curtail excessive use of Nitrogen. He urged the farmers to practice kitchen gardening to cut expenditure, ensure self-sustenance along with a safe and healthy supply of homegrown fruits and vegetables throughout the year.” The farmers of Punjab have since decades, been looked upon as the most progressive and hard working, not just in India but across the world”, said Dr Singh, while adding that, his reputation needs to be strengthened once again by focusing on conservation of water, soil, and air. While giving an example of Punjab’s 35% honey contribution to the nation, the chief guest motivated the farmers to adopt subsidiary occupations like beekeeping, mushroom cultivation, and poultry to increase annual income. He also highlighted the value addition schemes by the Government of India with particular reference to processing for increasing farmers income within the next five years.
Dr Ashok Kumar, Director Extension, PAU, drew the farmers attention towards the changing trends in climate and therefore the need to refocus research in accordance with the same. He advised them to maintain farm accounts and keep a record of expenditure and to focus on the overall profit as compared to the total yield. Dr Kumar also insisted regular visits to the nearest Krishi Vigyan Kendras for training regarding subsidiary farming as well integrated pest and disease management for controlling plant diseases and pests.
The salient research achievements of Punjab Agricultural University were elucidated by Director Research, Dr Navtej Singh Bains. He highlighted the specific varieties to be used for various crops, fruits, and vegetables. While driving home the message of conserving the paddy straw within the field as opposed to burning it, Dr Bains shared research findings where conservation of paddy straw not only increased the yield of wheat and paddy but also improved soil health. He urged the farmers to use fertilizer judiciously, make use of the leaf colour chart and adopt the PAU Super SMS Technology for proper management of paddy straw.