December 8, 2011 admin


LUDHIANA, DECEMBER 8:-A two-day “Research and Extension Specialists Workshop for Vegetable, Fruit and Flower Crops,” organized by the Directorate of Extension Education of the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) began here today. The workshop involves the participation of the officers of the Department of Horticulture, Punjab, Directors of Regional Stations, Deputy Directors (Training) at Krishi Vigyan Kendras, PAU Deans, Directors, Additional Directors and Heads of the various departments.    
            Inaugurating the workshop, the chief guest Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said that due to the growing urbanization and burgeoning population, requirement for food is also increasing. There is a need to take initiative regarding food security. Highlighting the unique contribution of the PAU in ushering in an era of green revolution, Dr Dhillon said that the university has also played prominent role in other sections of the agriculture. In view of the farm labour shortage, agricultural machinery has got a lot of scope.  Stating that water management is a big challenge, Dr Dhillon laid stress on the conservation of resources in this regard. There is a need to divert attention towards the nursery production and export of the agricultural commodities. Dr Dhillon exhorted the scientists to contribute as much as they can for the benefit of the farming community, state and the country.
Dr L.S. Brar, Director of Horticulture, Punjab, delved upon the targets, production and problems in growing of vegetables, fruits and flowers. He laid emphasis on carrying out research in ginger cultivation, olive cultivation and organic farming. Besides, Dr Brar underlined the need for pruning of fruits, enhancing the knowledge of the farmers about the control measures for citrus fruit drop and the management of mites in net-house and poly-house. Lauding the research work of PAU in floriculture, he stressed on making the flower cultivation technology reachable to the farmers. He revealed that a farm machinery has been imported and PAU can make modifications and prepare indigenous model which is reasonable for the farmers. Dr Brar also suggested the cultivation of different varieties of kinnow, mushrrom, sapota (chiku), guava, amla, etc.
Referring to the salient findings in research on vegetable, fruit and flower crops, Dr S.S. Gosal, Director of Research, PAU, said that alongwith food security, nutritional security is also of prime importance. Vegetables and fruits are vital for diversification. Dr Gosal disclosed that PAU has recommended new varieties of Sapota and Amla which include Kalipatti, Cricket Ball, Balwant (NA-10), Neelam (NA-7) and Kanchan (NA-4). Referring to various plant protection and production technologies, he said that at present, special emphasis is being laid on citrus monoculture and potato cultivation. Turmeric cultivation has also become popular among the farmers. Dr Gosal suggested “Australian varieties of olive and blue berry can be introduced in Punjab.”
Meanwhile, the technical session – I on “Fruits” saw deiberations on citrus, banana, pear, grapes, mango, guava, litchi, ber, sapota (chiku), peach and other stone fruits, minor fruits such as amla, pomegranate, loquat, jaman, etc. and plant protection technology for fruits.  Dr. Dhillon released a publication "Impact of Climate Change on Fruit Crops" brought out by PAU Department of Horticulture.
Earlier, welcoming the dignitaries and the participants, Dr D.S. Cheema, Dean, College of Agriculture, PAU, said that this workshop plays great role in agricultural scenario. Vegetables, fruit and flowers help in the diversification of agriculture and play a key role in employment generation. Banana and Kinnow cultivation have picked up and turmeric is in great demand among the farmers for the last two years. The net-house and poly-house cultivation have got good response from the farmers. Dr Cheema added that the workshop would provide an opportunity to the horticultural officers and other participants to discuss the feedback and innovative ideas with the scientists.
The PAU Director of Extension Education, Dr M.S. Gill, proposing the vote of thanks, said that the new varieties with production and protection technologies will definitely bring change in the present day agriculture. India is leading in citrus and guava production, but the need of the hour is to lay emphasis on mango production as they are in demand for the preparation of agro-processed products. Dr Gill told that workshop would address all the queries, thereby, improving the technical know-how of the participants.
An exhibition, put up by various departments of the PAU, showcased recommendations in production technology, cultivation of bell-pepper, brinjal and tomato in net-house, different varieties of chrysanthemum, pear, peach, sweet orange and grapefruit, vegetable hybrids released by the University, drip irrigation and fertigation in potato, benefits of natural vinegar, processing of pear, health beverages, significance of mushroom cultivation and farm machinery. The other highlights included new varieties of amla and sapota, top working flame seedless grapes on perlette vines and rapid multiplication of peach by simultaneous grafting and rooting (stenting technique). 

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