On day one of Kisan Mela organised by PAU, suggestions were made on small savings and improvement of education in rural areas.
Dr G S Kalkat, chairman of the State Farmers’ Commission, inaugurated the two-day mela. In his address, he expressed serious concern about the degrading education standards in villages and an increase in drug abuse.
Dr Kalkat emphasised the need for strengthening student-teacher relationship and encouraging the rural children to compete in this global era. He urged the farming community to reduce wasteful expenditure, and go in for savings of Rs 5,000 per annum in the name of their children. At the age of 61, the farmers can get an interest of Rs 18,000 per month as pension, he said, adding that this would serve the dual purpose of safe and secure future of old as well as young generations.
Dr Kalkat highlighted the waste expenditure being done by farmers in the name of lavish marriages and buying big cars while not focusing on the education of kids who were not even allowed to compete in competitive exams. A number of times surprise checks had also shown that rural students were not even able to solve basic sums of maths or even to write their names in English. He stressed that educated children could take farming to new heights.
Apart from this, though the government stresses diversification a lot, farmers’ focus was mainly on paddy varieties looking at the huge rush on the stalls of PR 1121 and new variety pr123 too. The theme of the mela was “Belore Rasayanan Uppar Kharch Ghatao, Vatavaran Bachao, Munafa Vadhao (reduce expenditure on the use of unnecessary agro-chemicals, save environment and enhance profit)”.
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Vice-Chancellor of PAU B S Dhillon said, “Grow fruits, vegetables and pulses in household kitchen gardens to save money and to get good quality food.” He emphasised the adoption of subsidiary occupations like mushroom cultivation, beekeeping, poultry and dairy farming for generating regular income.
Dr Dhillon impressed upon the farmers not to increase area under basmati. He advised them to sow Punjab Pusa 1509 basmati variety after July 15 only.
On the occasion, Jorge Cardenas, Ambassador of Bolivia; Dr Prabhu Kumar, zonal director, Krishi Vigyan Kendras; Varunesh Tuli, chairman, Indo-Latin American Political Forum; Dr N S Malhi, Vice-Chancellor, Guru Kashi University, Talwandi Sabo, Bathinda; and Hardev S Riar, Kulwant S Ahluwalia and Karmajit K Dhanewalia, members, PAU Board of Management were present.