PAU golden jubilee celebrations end, Pak team impressed with varsity work

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The golden jubilee celebrations of Punjab Agricultural University which started in January this year and saw the maximum number of VIPs visiting the campus, including the President and Prime Minister, concluded on Friday with the alumni meet.

A Pakistan delegation, which is here to attend two-day alumni meet, visited the Crops Museum of the Department of Plant and Breeding and Genetics, Research Hall of the Department of Farm Machinery and Power Engineering (FMPE), and Museum of Rural History of Punjab.

During his visit to the Crops Museum, Malik Ahmad A Aulakh, Minister of Agriculture, Punjab (Pakistan), in his remarks wrote, "I visited the research centre of PAU and I really feel that in Punjab, there is a good success in all crops." On the occasion of golden jubilee of PAU, he extended his best wishes to the university.

Referring to the first PAU-released virus-resistant cotton hybrid in the world "LHH 144," Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Vice-Chancellor, University of Agriculture (UAF), Faisalabad, hailed the achievement of the university and said that this is something appreciable as in Pakistan nobody to date has claimed that the cotton variety is resistant to leaf curl virus. "We would like to pursue this variety," he said, adding that there is a good progress in maize cultivation in Pakistan. Dr Khan said that the two nations are the importers of edible oil and pulses.

Dr Muhammad Anjum A Buttar, Director General Agriculture (Extension), Government of Punjab (Pakistan), emphasised the minimum support price (MSP) for various crops in their country. He said in Pakistan, many sugar mills have come up in the last three years due to the improved productivity of sugarcane. While the area around Sialkot district of Pakistan (near Indo-Pak border) is facing the problem of yellow rust, there is a great demand for nutritional food products in Pakistan Punjab.

During the visit to Museum of Rural History of Punjab, the Additional Director of Research (Natural Resource and Plant Health Management), Dr J S Dhiman, explained the delegates the social history and rural life of Punjab (India). He said the museum speaks volumes of the rich cultural heritage of Punjab.

On the wheat disease "yellow rust", Dr Dhiman said to check its spread, the PAU had decided to sow wheat varieties (resistant to yellow rust) at Punjab-Himachal border.

At the technical session of 'Indo-Pak Trade: Present and Future Prospects', Dr Karam Singh, an eminent economist and consultant, Punjab State Farmer's Commission, said enormous trade opportunities exist between two Punjabs. Both Punjabs have common crops like wheat, cotton and basmati rice. Absence of trade ties between the two nations is proving to be a limiting factor for both to export their farm produce."If trade ties are established, it will benefit both the nations," he said.

Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan, Vice-Chancellor, University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF), Pakistan, said that there exists a developed market on both sides which offers a great potential for exports, especially for fruits and vegetables like mangoes, kinnows and tomatoes.

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