NewZNew (Chandigarh) : Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal reviewed the arrangements for the supply of different varieties of quality Wheat seed to be procured for the farmers on subsidized rates during the forthcoming Rabi season.
Presiding over a meeting with the State and National Seed Producing Agencies besides the local seed growers at Punjab Bhawan on Monday evening, the Chief Minister asked the Vice-Chancellor of Punjab Agriculture University to coordinate with State Directorate of Agriculture to ensure procurement of high quality wheat seed from PUNSEED, IFFCO, KRIBHCO, National Seed Corporation (NSC), PAU and the private seed producers. He also directed the Extension Services Wing of PAU to educate the farmers about the timely schedule of sowing wheat during the coming Rabi season on one hand and to make them aware of the latest farm practices to enhance the yield both qualitatively and quantitatively.
The Chief Minister also asked the Agriculture department to encourage the farmers to grow quality seed of high yield varieties and identify few villages to be named as ‘seed villages’ in the state. The farmers desirous of sowing seeds should be given proper training and technical know-how to produce the best quality seed in the state. Likewise, the Chief Minister also directed PAU and DWR to demarcate the Niche Areas for different varieties of wheat according to their climatic suitability. The PAU and DWR would give recommendations/advisories which needed to be disseminated amongst the farmers of the state for sustaining the productivity of wheat to the Director Agriculture within a week. He also asked the Agriculture Department in collaboration with PAU to launch a vigorous publicity campaign in this regard through distribution of requisite literature in the format of folders and posters for motivating the farmers to adopt the latest farm practices.
Meanwhile, the Additional Chief Secretary (Development) apprised Mr. Badal that a total of 35 lakh hectares area would be sown during ensuing rabi season 2015-16 and thus 35 lakh quintal Quality Wheat seed was required. He also informed the Chief Minister that the state was grappling with the severe shortage of quality seed this time as the substantial quantity of seed to be used by the farmers had been mostly affected by Yellow Rust and Karnal Bunt due to abnormal weather conditions coupled with unseasonal rains and hailstorm. He however assured Mr. Badal that the State Agriculture Department and PAU have fully geared to cope up with this situation and the farmers of the state would be provided with requisite quantity of quality wheat seed well in advance before the onset of Rabi season.
Taking part in the deliberations, Vice-Chancellor PAU Dr. B.S. Dhillon informed that the varieties like HD-3086, HD-2967 and WH-1105 was best suited for Punjab and Haryana conditions. The seed of these varieties were required to be procured for the farmers of the state. Moreover, PBW-550 and PBW-621 were also good varieties but these were not in keen demand by the farmers. He further told that the inclement weather has resulted in low damage of seed in Bathinda, Faridkot, Muktsar, Mansa and Sangrur districts. Consequently, the quality of wheat seed was good in these areas, therefore the seed was needed to be procured for the rest of areas, where the quality of wheat seed was adversely affected. He also requested that an air conditioned storage facilities were needed to be constructed at PAU for preserving the germplasm, nucleus seed and breeder seed to ensure high quality multiplication of seeds.
Dr. Indu Sharma, Director, Directorate of Wheat Research Karnal (DWR) suggested that there was need to maintain varietal diversity so as to avoid any epidemics of insect/pest/disease or loss due to inclement weather. She also stressed on the need to propagate Zero tillage and incorporation of crop residue in the field to maintain the quality of grains.
Prominent amongst others who attended the meeting included Additional Chief Secretary Development Mr. Suresh Kumar, MD Punjab Agro Mr. Kahan Singh Pannu, VC PAU, Ludhiana Dr. B.S. Dhillon, Director Agriculture Dr. Mangal Singh Sandhu, Agronomist from CIMMYT Delhi Dr. M.L. Jat, Consultant Punjab State Farmers Commission Dr. S.S. Bains, MD PUNSEED Dr. S.S. Kandhari and Director, Punjab State Seed Certification Authority Dr. P.S. Aulakh.