With the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal leaving on Sunday for a three-day trip to Gujarat to attend an agriculture fair at Gandhinagar,an emergency meeting was held at the Punjab Agricultural University campus here on Saturday.
Badal will be accompanied by Director,Agriculture Dr Mangal Singh Sandhu and some farmers,including women farmers,to represent Punjab.The emergency meeting was spurred by the fact that without Sandhus approval,the varsity cannot sell the seeds of new wheat variety developed by PAU scientists.
At the Saturday meeting the State Varietal Approval Committee met on Saturday and director agriculture approved PBW 658,a late sowing variety which is resistant to yellow rust,the most common disease in wheat crop.
Punjab is already late in passing the variety as three regional melas at TarnTaran on September 2,followed by one at Ballowal Saunkhr i(District Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar) on September 4,and Gurdaspur on September 6 have already passed. Farmers could not get seeds of this new variety in these melas as it was awaiting approval from Sandhu who was on an official visit to US.
There was a farmers progress show in US which I was attending. Hence this meeting got delayed. However,today we have passed this new variety which will be available in the coming mela in PAU campus on September 13, Sandhu told The Sunday Express. Tomorrow we are leaving for Gandhinagar with CM, he added.
Yellow rust resistant,13% higher yield
Dr M S Gill,director extension,PAU told The Sunday Express that this new variety can be sown late in areas with good irrigation upto the first week of January unlike traditional varieties which have a sowing period till November 15.
The seeds will be available in 10-kg packets for approximately Rs 24 per kg.