PAU Kisan mela kicks off amidst awe-inspiring response from Punjab Farmers
Practice Uttam Kheti, Madhyam Vyapar: Punjab CM to Farmers
LUDHIANA, SEPTEMBER 23, 2022: The two-day offline Kisan Mela kicked off at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today amidst awe-inspiring response from the farmers of Punjab and adjoining states. The Punjab Agricultural University, which is commemorating its Diamond Jubilee in 2022 on the completion of its 60 years of glorious service to the farming community, has received kudos worldwide and been blessed with a blaze of glory for making monumental contributions to the agriculture and allied fields. The theme of the mela is “Kisani, jawani ate paun-paani bachaea, aao ‘Rangla Punjab’ banaea. (Come, let use make Rangla Punjab by saving youth, farming and natural resources).” Roads of PAU campus were clogged with the fleet of cars and swarms of farmers who came alongwith their families.
Inaugurating the mela, the Chief Guest Sh Bhagwant Mann, Chief Minister of Punjab, said: “This is a historic mela, I have been coming to this mela when nobody knew me; I have been coming as an artist also and now as Chief Minister.” “Punjab has a fertile land and diligent farmers who can work for 20 hours a day, but the only issue is what will happen when the insect-pest or disease attacks the crop. Farmers should not resort to un-recommended spraying; there is a need to bridge the gap between problem and solution and that experts must reach the fields in the need of the hour,” he stated. The CM called upon the farmers to purchase PAU seed so that “what you sow shall grow.” But now the situation is what you don’t want, it grows; don’t go for seed from unreliable source, he stressed.
“The Food Corporation of India told me that they have rice in stock for the next five-years. Punjab is contributing maximum rice to the Central pool in addition to other states like Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Bihar. Punjab is producing per kg of rice form 4,000 litres of water; we are contributing water also besides rice,” he said. Expressing concern over water crisis in Punjab, he lamented: “Punjab vich ta naam da panni rahegya hai (Punjab, the land of five rivers, is hardly left with water). The water which was made amrit (nectar) by our Gurus is resulting in spread of cancer disease through pollution and contamination.” Sh Mann urged the farmers to conserve water, the precious natural resource, by following the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji “Uttam Kheti, Madhyam Vyapar” and “Pawan Guru Paani Pita, Mata Dharat Mahat.” He also appealed to the Central government to give MSP (minimum support price) for other alternative crops to promote diversification in Punjab.
Recalling his meeting with NITI Aayog, the Punjab CM said: “Pulses worth 120 billion dollars from Columbia and Mozambique are being imported. I requested the officials to allow us to contribute pulses for export.”
Punjabis are shining everywhere across the globe, be it in Canada, Australia and USA, but something needs to be done to make Punjabis in Punjab happy, he stated. Observing that competition with neighbours in terms of riches is not a healthy sign, he remarked: “Wo aadmi bahut dukhi hai, jiska padosi sukhi hai (a man who competes with the neighbours can never be happy.” The CM urged the ruralites to avoid superfluous expenditure on marriages and lead a contented life, while hailing the enthusiastic participation of the youths in the mela today.
In his presidential remarks, Sh Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayats, NRI Affairs, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Punjab, said that Punjab was blessed to have a Chief Minister who owns just seven acres of land. “All MLAs sitting here own nearly 5 acres of land,” he added. Lauding PAU for taking agriculture to great heights, he saluted its agricultural stalwarts. The present times call for saving the kisan (farmer) and the kheti (farming), and that farmers should not burn paddy straw for it pollutes the environment and results in serious health hazards, he observed. Pointing out the spurious cotton seed which destroyed the crop, the Minister urged the farmers to purchase the seed from a reliable source - PAU.
Delighted to see the mammoth gathering of farmers in the mela, Dr Satbir Singh Gosal, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said that with pleasant weather, God has been kind enough. Dr Gosal called upon the farmers to sow University recommended varieties for higher yield and profitability, diversify their cropping pattern by going for horticultural crops (fruits, vegetables, flowers and agro-forestry), make judicious use of water for its conservation, adopt straw management technologies for environmental protection, reduce cost of cultivation and go for subsidiary occupations (mushroom production, beekeeping, agro-processing and value addition, kitchen garden, animal husbandry, etc.) for income enhancement.
Sh Laljit Singh Bhullar, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairy Development Minister, Punjab, and Dr Inderjeet Singh, Vice-Chancellor, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, also graced the occasion.
Dr AS Dhatt, Director of Research, said that PAU is a mother of Green Revolution, and leader in conservation agriculture and farm mechanization. Parali (straw) is a sona (gold), he said, while urging the farmers to adopt PAU recommended crop residue management technologies such as Happy Seeder, Super Seeder, Smart Seeder, PAU Super Straw Management System, etc. “Recently, PAU developed wheat varieties, namely PBW 826, PBW 833 and PBW 872 have earned a rare distinction of getting identified for release at the national level in one go,” he disclosed.
Dr Ashok Kumar, Director of Extension Education, said that the prodigious response to the mela after three years of gap is a delight to the eyes and senses of PAU fraternity and Punjab as a whole. Leaving no stone unturned in transferring the latest technologies (offline and online) from lab to field, PAU-farmers’ trustworthy relationship is highly valued and celebrated across the country, he added.
Dr Nirmal Jaura, Associate Director (Public Relations), conducted the programme and proposed a vote of thanks.
On the occasion, a Coffee Table Book on “Agricultural Development in Punjab: PAU’s Colossal Feat,” celebrating 60 years of Punjab Agricultural University’s establishment, was released. Dr Gosal is a Patron, Dr TS Riar, Additional Director Communication, is Advisor and Ms Sheetal Chawla is Editor of the book. The photographs have been contributed by Dr AP Singh, Mr SK Rode, Mr SK Mohlajee, Mr Krishan Adeeb and Mr Harpreet Singh.
During the mela, five progressive farmers including one farm woman were feted. Sardar Satpal Singh Toor (village Sawadi Kalan, district Ludhiana) and Sardar Amritpal Singh Randhawa (village Fuglana, district Hoshiarpur) were conferred with “Parvasi Bharti Awards 2022” for excellence in crop diversification. Sardar Satnam Singh (village Burj Tharoar, district Bathinda) was honoured with "Surjit Singh Dhillon Award 2022" for making strides in agriculture as a small farmer and Sardar Manjit Singh (village Karanghana, tehsil and district Mansa) was felicitated with "Sardar Ujaggar Singh Dhaliwal Memorial Award 2022" for excellence in vegetable cultivation. Smt Veerpal Kaur (village Romana Albail Singh, tehsil Jaiton, district Faridkot) was awarded "State Awardee Sardarni Jagbir Kaur Memorial Award 2022" for gaining recognition in allied agri-occupations.
Besides, “Bhai Babu Singh Brar Sarvotam Chappar Award 2022” was presented to the village Ransinh Kalan, block Nihal Singh Wala, district Moga.
Apart from this, four PAU scientists Dr Sandeep Singh, Dr JS Brar, Dr KBS Gill and Dr Narinderpal Singh were honoured for their significant contributions to agriculture.
Later, Dr Gosal honoured the Punjab CM Sh Bhagwant Mann, State Agriculture Minister Sh Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal and other dignitaries on stage with a shawl and memento.
Mr Veenu Prasad, Principal Secretary, Punjab and Mr Sarvjit Singh, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Punjab were also felicitated on the occasion. The MLAs from various constituencies of Ludhiana also attended the inaugural function.