Punjab Governor Inaugurates Bathinda Kisan Mela
The Kisan Mela of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) held at the Regional Research Station, Bathinda, witnessed a heavy footfall. Farmers from Bathinda and neighboring areas thronged the one-day fair. The theme of the Kisan Mela was “Reduce agricultural expenditure, use water and fertilizers judiciously and adopt subsidiary occupations to make farming profitable”. The Mela was inaugurated by the Governor of Punjab and Chancellor of PAU, Sh V.P. Singh Badnore while Sh. M.P. Singh Issar, Vice Chancellor of Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Technical University, Bathinda, was the Guest of Honour. Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Mr. J.M. Balamurugan, Secretary to Governor of Punjab, officers of the state and district administration as well as the officers of PAU were also present on the occasion.
In his inaugural address, Sh Badnore, greeted the gathering and said that the prime objective of such pastoral fairs is two-way interaction between the agricultural scientists and the farmers. Lauding the role of PAU, he said, “The symbiotic relationship shared by PAU with the farmers is matchless.” He hailed the Punjab farmers for toiling hard to make the country food secure. Equating the kisan melas to knowledge-encapsulated events, he advocated a two-pronged strategy for ensuring a lucrative agricultural enterprise, viz., judicious expenditure and adoption of subsidiary ventures. Sh Badnore commended the white fly management by PAU and advocated the use of PAU developed Happy Seeder to curb stubble burning. He said he was highly impressed by the Kisan Mela held at Ludhiana; the mela at Bathinda was just a smaller version of it in size with a similar spirit. Towards the end, he applauded the relentless efforts put in by the university scientists for serving the farming community.
The Guest of Honour, Sh M.P. Singh Issar congratulated the farmers and attributed the success to their hard work. He said that the different stalls and new varieties showcased in the mela spoke volumes of hard work put in by the scientists and farmers collectively. Distress in agriculture, be it due to vagaries of weather or manmade reasons, cannot be overlooked, he added. He pointed out that such limitations can be overcome with a joint effort from the farmers and agriculture experts. Enumerating problems like climate change, declining water table, marketing of agricultural produce, overuse of insecticides and pesticides, he said interactive collaboration between the farming community and the scientists can prevent them.
Delivering his remarks, Dr B.S. Dhillon, thanked the farmers for their trust and strong connection with the university and its recommendations.
Highlighting the research achievements of the PAU, Dr. Navtej Singh Bains, Director of Research, apprised the farmers with the new varieties launched by the university. He emphasized on the economic stability of the farmers along with the increased productivity of crops.
Dr Jaskaran Singh Mahal, Director Extension, PAU, while welcoming the dignitaries and the farmers, urged the farmers to follow PAU recommendations. He exhorted them to attend trainings imparted at the various KVKs of the university. Such trainings would arm them with the latest knowledge to tackle the challenges which came in the form of weather, weeds, pests, etc. Later, Dr. Paramjit Singh, Director, Regional Research Station, Bathinda proposed the vote of thanks to the gathering.
Several stalls with exhibits as diverse as implements, improved seeds, solar energy, farm literature, etc., were put up at the mela. The scientists of PAU answered a volley of questions from the farmers during an interactive session. Subject matter specialists of PAU gave useful tips to farmers about the new crop production and protection technologies, farm mechanization for Kharif crops, etc. There was a huge rush of farmers for the purchase of seeds and vegetable mini kits. Farmers also purchased farm literature and fruit plants from the sale outlets that were set-up for the purpose. The Chief Guest and the Guest of Honour were honoured by Dr B.S. Dhillon with a memento.