March 17, 2011 12:15:15 am
Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) in the state the birthplace of Green Revolution will this year honour farmers who have stayed away from chemical farming.
Even though PAU has over the years advocated the judicious use of chemicals,the list of farmers who will receive awards at the Kisan Mela that begins on Friday comes as a surprise.
The list includes 73-year-old Surinder Kumar Ahuja.
A commerce graduate,Ahuja has been farming for the last 50 years and runs a 52-bed vermi compost unit.
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Ahuja is a member of PAU Kisan Committee and Punjab State Micro Irrigation Committee and had been recognised for his innovation in management of crop residues.
Iqbal Singh Sidhu,a resident of village Gumti Kalan in Bathinda,is also on the list. A multiple award winner,Sidhu is known for his progressive fruit cultivation policies. His citation sent by PAU reads,Sidhu cultivates potatoes on 10 acres and is genuinely concerned with maintenance of soil health through using green manure,farm yard and poultry manure. Sidhu raises vegetables on beds and recharges his fields with rain water.
A trained mechanical engineer and resident of village Majal Khurd ( Patiala ),Gurpreet Singh Shergill,has been selected for the Chief Minister Award in Horticulture. Having entered farming in 1996,Gurpreet has excelled in the cultivation of gladiolus in the area. His citation,too,mentions green manuring. Shergill says the green manuring helps in maintaining the soil health.
Another farmer in the list is Surjit Singh Chaggar a resident of village Chaggran (Hoshiarpur). This 48-year-old farmer cultivates 67 acres of land and maintains a home garden. Chaggar has been producing vermi-compost since 2003 and uses farm refuge for bio-gas production.
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