FOLLOWING THE change of guard, the kisan mela (farmers fair) of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) and Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) will kick off on Friday without any political chief guests. These fairs of both varsities are widely acclaimed among farmers of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and other northern states. Farmers flock to these fairs held simultaneously on the PAU campus to buy seeds, pesticides, get technical knowhow of latest technologies, etc.
However, this time, there will be no political chief guests to inaugurate the kisan mela of PAU and Pashu Palan Mela of GADVASU. So, PAU vice chancellor Dr BS Dhillon and his GADVASU counterpart Dr AS Nanda will inaugurate the fairs. Earlier, former agriculture minister Tota Singh of Akali Dal used to preside as chief guest. But Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has kept the portfolio with himself for now.
Dr RS Sidhu, director of PU’s extension wing, said, “There will be no political chief guest this time. The new government has just taken over and the Vidhan Sabha session starts Friday. So, the VC himself will be inaugurating the fair.”
Meanwhile, continuing with their protest against the VC, the PAU teachers will be protesting wearing black bands during the fair.
“We will be on duty which are allotted to us but our protest against dictatorial attitude and misbehaviour of the VC will continue. We will be wearing black bands to show our resentment so that visitors also see what is going on inside the renowned agricultural varsity,” said KS Sangha, president, PAU Teachers Association.
The theme of PAU mela this year would be PAU de beej bijo, sahayak dhande apnao; mandikaran suchaja karo, lekha jokha lao (Grow PAU recommended seeds only, adopt value addition; keep updated on mandis and maintain a record of your input expense).
“The theme is aimed at telling farmers that they should not use seeds, not recommended by PAU, so that they do not suffer later,” said Sidhu. PAU would be promoting its paddy variety PR-126 for upcoming paddy season and selling its seeds at the mela.
“This variety matures in 125 days giving 30 quintal/acre yield and requires less water which is extremely important for Punjab seeing water scarcity,” he added.