LUDHIANA: A three-day international conference on “Sustainable Agriculture for Food and Livelihood Security – ICSA 2012,” organized by the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) concluded here on Thursday.
Earlier, the technical session on “Joining Hands for Economic Development” was held. A panel discussion among the farm experts took place which was chaired by a well-known scientist, Dr Gurdev Singh Khush, Adjunct Professor, University of California, Davis, USA, and co-chaired by Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU.
In his remarks, Dr Khush said that monoculture is not good for farm sustainability. The water resources of the Punjab state are being affected and that there is no substitution for the rice crop, he observed. Saying that there is one crop which could substitute rice i.e. “hybrid maize,” he emphasized the need to suggest government to provide minimum support price for this particular crop.
Dr Khush expressed that even GMO (genetically modified organism) maize will be an excellent substitution for the rice crop. Stressing that the value addition of food products is also vital for agri-sustainability and income enhancement of farmers, he said that vegetables and fruits hold a lot of scope and have the potential to replace the rice crop.
He impressed upon the PAU to impart training to the young entrepreneurs for the agro-industry. Dr Khush said, “The PAU has completed first milestone of 50 years. The University is known all over the world and I proudly tell that I am alumnus of PAU. The University has trained numerous scientists who have been instrumental in heralding the green revolution and evolvement of new varieties and technologies. They have contributed abroad through their expertise in agriculture and won various outstanding awards.”
Dr Dhillon laid special thrust on the value addition and processing of farm produce. He appreciated the presentations of the delegates, and stating that such interactions are useful for the agricultural research and development. Emphasizing on strengthening the cooperation and coordination between the farm varsities, Dr Dhillon exhorted the scientists to “work hard and think innovatively.”