EMINENT SCIENTISTS GATHER AT PAU TO CELEBRATE GOLDEN JUBILEE OF GREEN REVOLUTION LUDHIANA, 24 November 2015:- Eminent agricultural scientists gathered at the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Green Revolution. Farm experts eulogized PAU, the mother of Green Revolution, for its glorious service to the farming community. They gave presentations, shared their experiences, discussed current farm challenges and suggested future priority areas. The deans, directors, and faculty of PAU also participated.
The Padma Bhushan and Padma Shree Awardee, Dr G.S. Kalkat, Chairman, Punjab State Farmers’ Commission, spoke on “Green Revolution-A Historical Perspective.” He disclosed, “At the time of partition of the country, present Punjab had nearly 35.44 lakh hectare (ha) cultivated area, 38 per cent irrigated area, 118 per cent cropping intensity and 1392 tractors in use.” Even in 1960s, the Punjab agriculture was struggling to revive. “The Punjab Agricultural University came into existence in 1962 and the mid 60s marked the on-set of high yielding varieties,” he highlighted. Improving the capability of farmers to adopt the technology, and coordination between agriculture and supporting agencies were essential at that time, he added. Elaborating, Dr Kalkat said, “Food Corporation of India was established in 1964 whereas Agriculture Prices Commission was set-up in 1965 to fix the Minimum Support Price (MSP). The FCI started procuring wheat at MSP in 1965 and state agencies like Markfed, Warehousing Corporation and Food Department helped in procurement. Besides, Punjab Mandi Board developed markets and rural roads for easy marketing.” The rice yield jumped from 1000 kg/ha in 1965-66 to 2007 kg/ha in 1972-73, he told. Similarly, wheat yield also increased from 1238 kg/ha in 1965-66 to 2233 kg/ha in 1972-73, he said, adding that wheat and rice were sustaining. The number of tubewells escalated from 11,946 in 1960-61 to 1,92,000 in 1970-71, he added. Dr Kalkat highlighted the successful journey of Green Revolution and attributed its success to the hard work of Punjab farmers, PAU and the policy makers.
Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, while giving a presentation on “Green Revolution: Production-Protection Technologies,” said the production technologies saw changes in terms of planting time, depth of sowing, irrigation and fertilizer use. Pointing out that intensive agriculture has resulted in the over-exploitation of natural resources, he highlighted various water saving and soil health maintaining technologies. Besides, he called for attention on the issues of productivity enhancement, climate resilience and crop diversification, he added.
Dr S.S. Johl, Chancellor, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda and Padma Bhushan awardee said the policies, which were there at the time of Green Revolution, are lacking at present. In addition, the storage of food grains remains an issue till date, he observed, saying that it requires a special emphasis. Dr Johl suggested that policies must be profit-oriented and beneficial. The demand-supply of food and purchasing power are also the need of the hour, he stressed.
Dr A.S. Khehra, former Vice-Chancellor, PAU said in view of globalization, focus should be on giving technology exposure to the new human resources at the international level, making research hi-tech and creating awareness about its benefits, and having proper records of inputs costs.
Dr G.S. Nanda, former Director of Research, PAU and Member, Board of Management, PAU talked about popular crop varieties used during Green Revolution and their additional benefit to the farmers. He said rising high temperature must be taken into consideration while conducting research. Besides, knowledge must be imparted to the farmers on proper care of food grains, he suggested.
Dr S.S. Bains, former Director of Agriculture, Punjab, said, “In view of staff shortage in the departments, efforts should be made to re-organize them, exhort the staff to go to the farmers, and promote and disseminate the technology to the stakeholders.” It is only technology which can pave way for progress as well as success, he added.
Dr P.S. Rangi, an economist, said that alongwith technology, marketing is equally important.
Dr R.S. Tambar, former Additional Director Communication, said, “Dedicated research efforts followed by appreciation are vital for the motivation of scientists and the farm development.”
Dr M.S. Dosanjh, a progressive farmer, said the first target has been achieved. But the present-day agriculture calls for changing the psychology of the farmers and diverting them towards crop diversification, he added.
Earlier, Dr Balwinder Singh, Director of Research, PAU welcomed the eminent scientists and the faculty of PAU. He highlighted, “PAU has played a pivotal role in heralding Green Revolution and transforming the nation from food-deficit to food-surplus.”
Dr R. S. Sidhu, Director of Extension Education proposed the vote of thanks.