Punjab Agricultural University decks up for Kisan Mela

LUDHIANA: The Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is all decked up for two-day Kisan Mela on the campus. Tota Singh, minister of agriculture and NRI affairs, Punjab will inaugurate the mela on September 12. Suresh Kumar, financial commissioner (development), and principal secretary, agriculture, Punjab will be the guest of honour while Baldev Singh Dhillon, PAU vice-chancellor, will preside over the inaugural session. On September 13, A S Brar, vice-chancellor, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar will be the chief guest at prize-distribution function.

According to H S Dhaliwal, director of extension education and chief organizer of mela, participating farmers will be educated about innovative farm technologies, and advanced agricultural practices through field demonstrations, displays, and farm literature. He added that various departments of PAU will put up stalls which will cover a spectrum of varieties and farm technologies developed by the University in the field of agriculture and allied sectors

The department of plant breeding and genetics will apprise farmers of newly released varieties of rabi crops namely WH 1105 and PBW 660 of wheat, PMH 9 of winter maize, PBR 357 of raya, PBG 7 of desi gram, OL 10 of oats and GSC 7 of canola gobhi sarson. The department authorities added visitors will also be told about newly released and recommended varieties of kharif crops.

The departments of Vegetable Science, Fruit Science, and Food Science and Technology (FST) will exhibit food products; give information about processing techniques; display photographs and fresh samples of different vegetable varieties/hybrids; and dwell upon newly recommended varieties of fig, papaya and pomegranate. The department authorities added that besides, experts will also highlight post-harvest technologies and plant protection technologies for various fruit crops.

The department of Floriculture and Landscaping will display live specimens of gladiolus varieties, dry flowers, cut foliage and fresh flowers. Besides, farmers will be educated about pot plants and their arrangement in landscape.

The departments of Entomology and Plant Pathology will give field demonstrations on integrated pest management in different field crops; safe use of pesticides; beekeeping as a subsidiary venture; method of seed treatment for the control of seed borne diseases in rabi crops; and management of foot rot of basmati rice by seed and root dip treatment with Bavistin.

The departments of Agronomy and Soil Science will focus on new methods of crop cultivation; water management; resource conservation technologies; spraying techniques of herbicides; recycle crop residue in the field for better soil health and crop productivity; apply fertilizers on soil test basis for better use efficiency and integrated use of organic, bio and chemical fertilizers for higher productivity.

The department of Forestry and Natural Resources will disseminate information on cultural and management practices of poplar-based agro-forestry models; productivity of improved poplar and eucalyptus clones; and marketing of poplar and eucalyptus wood.

The department of Microbiology will equip the farmers with the scientific knowledge about year round mushroom cultivation technology; use of bio-fertilizers for leguminous crops and sugarcane; and water testing kit for profitability of water.

The department of Zoology will provide information about the beneficial birds in agriculture; artificial nests to conserve these birds; and methods to control rodent pests.

The departments of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering; Processing and Food Engineering; and Soil and Water Engineering will delve on the use of drip and sprinkler irrigation system; cultivation of vegetables in poly house/net house; improved grain storage practices; turmeric processing; agro-processing complex; and operation of various farm machinery like mechanical paddy transplanter, maize planter, electrostatic sprayer, moong and groundnut thresher, etc.

The College of Home Science will organize exhibitions and demonstrations on dietary management of celiac disease, food hygiene and sanitation, rain water harvesting model, solar gadgets, kitchen gardening, etc. Competitions in preparation of nutritious recipes from oats and pearl millets, decoration of deepawali dias, knitting and essay writing will also be held during the mela.

The School of Climate Change and Agricultural Meteorology will create awareness among the farmers about climate change, impact of climate on wheat and rice crops, and climate variability, trend, analysis of Punjab.

The School of Energy Studies for Agriculture will inform about solar grain dryers, biogas generation from paddy straw, solar water heaters and solar cookers.

The School of Agricultural Biotechnology will lay thrust on developing new lines for direct seeded rice, maize germplasm tolerant to water logging and application of molecular marker in fruits and vegetables.

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