The participation of the Hon’ble Governor of Punjab, Shri V.P. Singh Badnore in the series of PAU Kisan Melas ahead of the Rabi season has come as a booster to the scientists of the University and the farming community in the state. While applauding the Punjab farmers at PAU’s fourth Kisan Mela at Regional Research Station, Faridkot, the Governor highlighted their contribution in making the country food secure.“The farmers of the sacred town of Faridkot and the Malwa belt deserve special mention for their contribution in popularizing kinnow and other citrus fruits in the country’, he said. Taking note of the huge gathering of farmers at PAU’s Kisan Melas, Shri Badnore congratulated the University for building excellent linkages with the farming community. He exhorted the farmers to shun burning of paddy straw during the forthcoming harvest season, while urging them to adopt various straw management practices. Drawing attention to the Central Government’s grant of Rs 1165 crores for stubble management in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, and an additional 64 crores subsidy for stubble machinery, the Governor called upon the state farmers to make the best use of the same besides going in for custom hiring of machines like PAU Super SMS, Happy Seeder etc.He also drew their attention towards soil depletion caused by excessive fertilizer and pesticide usage and the imminent need to shift organic farming.
Apart from a huge rush of farmers and large number of farm women at the mela, the prominent dignitaries of the day included SSP Faridkot, Sh Rajbachan Singh sandhu, PPS, IGP Ferozepur, Sh M.S. Cheema, IPS, Secretary to Governor of Punjab, Shri, J.M. Balamurugam, Vice Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Dr Raj Bahadur, DC, Faridkot, Shri Rajiv Prasher and Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice Chancellor, PAU, who presided over the function. While welcoming the Chief Guest, dignitaries and farmers, Dr Dhillon thanked the farmers for placing trust in the University’s research and recommendations which is visible in their enthusiastic participation in Kisan Melas year after year. Drawing attention towards the mela theme of straw conservation, the Vice Chancellor urged the farmers to refrain from stubble burning and look for different ways in which the same could be used according to need or to conserve it in the soil. Dr Dhillon lauded the work done by PAU with special mention of RRS Faridkot in curbing the white fly menace in the cotton belt. He shared that due to efforts of scientists and farmers Punjab managed a record yield of cotton to the tune of 756 quintals/ hectare and a saving of pesticides worth Rs 2800 per hectare in 2016. On export of basmati, Dr Dhillon cautioned against unnecessary spraying of pesticide that had affected the country’s export of basmati to certain countries.
He called upon the farmers to go in for seed treatment and adoption of Zinc fortified and yellow rust resistant wheat varieties developed by PAU. Curbing of expenses, kitchen gardening and agricultural diversification involving farm women were other points brought home by the Vice Chancellor.In his address to the audience, Dr Raj Bahadur, Vice Chancellor, Baba Farid University of Health Sciences drew attention towards the wide disparity between the millions of people dying of mal nutrition and millions elsewhere dying of over nutrition. While thanking the Punjab farmers for being the agricultural back bone of the country, he sensitized them to the need for a shift in the rice wheat cropping pattern and introduction to a mix of fruits and vegetables. He shared research findings that indicated bone depletion in people of Malwa region due to degradation of soil by indiscriminate pesticide use. Dr Raj Bahadur called upon the farmers to share responsibility for building health of the nation.
Apart from huge rush of farmers participating in the technical sessions by PAU experts, a large number of farmers were seen thronging the demonstration areas and 95 stalls at the mela venue put up by various departments of the university and private organizations. Farmers in large numbers were also seen making a beeline for PAU farm literature put up by the Communication Centre.