Produce seeds that require minimum water: Sukhbir to PAU scientists
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Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is an asset to Punjab, as well as to the nation. It is a world-class institution, without which the state would not have been developed," said Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, during the inaugural session of the Golden Jubilee Foundation Day celebrations of the PAU, on Wednesday.
Badal, along with the guests, released a special postal cover on PAU and inaugurated the Technology and Product Sale Centre. Lauding the contribution of the University and hard work of Punjab farmers in enhancing the state's agriculture sector, the deputy CM pointed out that at present, the depleting underground water level was a serious concern, which called for the attention of the farm experts. He elaborated that shrinking land holdings, escalating population and injudicious use of pesticides were some of the other challenges being faced by the sector.
He urged the PAU scientists to produce seeds that required minimum water, encourage farm diversification and motivate farmers to make optimal use of water and pesticides.
The state government was formulating a new policy for the sector, he disclosed, adding that one of the top priorities of investment in Punjab would be agri-processing. Badal remarked, "My father is attached to agriculture and the university. To save farmers and compete globally in terms of agriculture, we need to take PAU to higher levels". He congratulated the PAU for completing 50 years of service in agriculture and allied fields.
Earlier, Guest of Honour Dr Arvind Kumar, Deputy Director General (Education), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), said PAU had played a vital role in promoting technology, crop varieties and new approaches towards agriculture. PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon highlighted the achievements of the university in research, academics and extension activities.
He said although there had been a four-fold increase in rice and wheat productivity, the biggest challenge was productivity enhancement accompanied by conservation of natural resources. Stressing that a new technology transfer system needed to be introduced, he exhorted scientists to work hard and make themselves indispensable.
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