January 27, 2012 admin


LUDHIANA, JANUARY 27: A team of CIMMYT scientists, Dr. Tom Lumpkin, Director General, Dr. Andy Barr, Board Member, Ms Sherry Robinsson, Fund Raising Consultant and Dr. Etienne Duvelier, Pathologist visited Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) to have an interaction with PAU scientists working on wheat and maize.  The team was also accompanied by Dr. Raj Gupta, Team Leader, Borlaug Institute of South Asia (BISA), Dr. Ajay Kumar Rai, Senior Country Coordinator, CIMMYT, India, Dr. Yadwinder Singh and Dr. H.S.Sidhu.  The group held parlays with Dr. R.K.Mahey, PAU Registrar, Dr. S.S.Gosal, Director of Research, Dr. D.S.Cheema and Dean, College of Agriculture.  Others who participated in the discussions included Dr. T.S.Thind, Additional Director of Research, Dr. Jagtar Singh Dhiman, Additional Director of Communication, Dr. P.S.Chahal, Associate Director of Research, Heads of Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Soil Science, Agronomy and the scientists of inter-disciplines working on wheat and maize.
            Dr. Lumpkin said that CIMMYT and PAU had a long association and thanked PAU for the cooperation it has provided to CIMMYT.  He said that there is a tremendous potential for scientists to work jointly.  He shared that CIMMYT has an elaborate international research programmes involving countries like China, Africa, India, Nepal and Pakistan.  The BISA has a huge research agenda on wheat and maize.  He added that Mexico has a huge germplasm of these crops while India has great pool of scientists.  Dr. Lumpkin said that BISA has the land at Ludhiana, in Bihar and Jabalpur where agro-ecological locations and socio-economic conditions of farmers are different.  The PAU and BISA will definitely compliment and supplement each other, he observed, adding that the existing yield gaps would be addressed.  It will be the fulfillment of the dreams of the Nobel Laureate, Dr. Norman E. Borlaug who visited PAU often, said he.
            Dr. Mahey, while welcoming the delegation to PAU said that the setting up of BISA at Ludhiana will serve the interest of the region.  He elaborated that it is a welcome step in 2012, the Golden Jubilee Year of PAU and hoped that both PAU and BISA will support each other through their programmes.  He assured the CIMMYT team of all possible support for BISA from PAU.
            Dr. Gosal said that PAU and CIMMYT has a purposeful linkage and that the green revolution in India had a connection with the germplasm of CIMMYT.  He mentioned that initially, the CIMMYT varieties of wheat were directly released in Punjab and then served as base material for subsequent releases.  He said that the next yield jump is a challenge for scientists for which collaboration between the two premier agricultural institutes would prove beneficial.
Dr. Duvelier looked forward to work with Indian scientists, especially in the area of crop protection.  The ongoing programmes at PAU to address the pathological problems in wheat and maize will be further complimented at BISA, he said.   Dr. Cheema said that BISA programmes will also benefit students.  He highlighted the educational programmes at PAU.
                Dr. Raj Gupta said that he gets a first hand feel while visiting PAU and hoped that the scientists of PAU and BISA would address the concerns of the region through need-based research on wheat and maize.
     The participating PAU scientists said that the regional agriculture will get an impetus through joint efforts and the farmers interest will be better served.  Later, the team visited the demonstration plots of PAU where the subject matter specialists interacted with them.

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