Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday inaugurated the two-day PAU Kisan Mela and Pashu Palan Mela at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU). In his brief speech, which he started with Sat Shri Akal, he said that he was overwhelmed by the hospitality of both the universities.
At PAU, he visited research farms and agricultural machinery stalls, apart from interacting with its 15 Afghan students. Expressing gratitude towards the university authorities and faculty for helping the Afghan students, he also applauded the youngsters for opting for a degree in agriculture. “I am happy to see these students having interest in agriculture as compared to conventional degree courses, as agriculture is the backbone of Afghanistan. I am hopeful that your rich learning at PAU will help strengthen agriculture back home,” he said.
He shared his concern over dismal levels of the water table in Afghanistan, urging the students as future leaders to help conserve the same.
Earlier, Afghan student Ismatullah Amiri, a student of BSc Agriculture welcomed the former president and assured him on behalf of his fellow students that their great experience at PAU will help make the country agriculturally independent and advanced.
At Pashu Palan Mela in GADVASU, he tasted the dairy delicacies. Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore, who is the Chancellor of PAU, was the chief guest. This is the sixth Kisan Mela to be visited by the governor who urged the farmers to stop stubble burning in order to save the environment. He also explained the new scheme of the Centre, which provides a 50 per cent subsidy on machinery to individual farmer and 80 per cent to groups or cooperative societies for the task.
Mobile apps launched
The PAU and GADVASU both launched farmer-friendly apps. At GADVASU, two Android-based mobile apps on pig and goat farming were launched. These can be downloaded from the Google Play Store.
The PAU Kisan App was launched by the governor. The app has been introduced to address the queries of farmers, equip them with information about new crop varieties, their production and protection technologies and provide weather-based and other agriculture-related advisory from time to time. Farmers can download the app on Android phones and it will soon be made available on Apple iPhones, said Dr Baldev Singh Dhillon, Vice-Chancellor, PAU.