PAHAL organised a one-day training programme for the promotion of sustainable agricultural practices, irrigation practices and new technology available for optimum use of water for agriculture, with the help of the National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD) regional office in Chandigarh.
The inaugural session was presided over by Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner Varinder Kumar. In his inaugural address, he said although Punjab undoubtedly became the grain bowl of India but the villages here had a fierce impact of the green revolution. During this time, use of fertilisers and pesticides lead to the exploitation of natural resources. Water was also used injudiciously due to lack of far-sighted thinking which resulted in the lowering of the water table. The current situation of water scarcity is so extreme that it raises questions on the existence of our future generations.
Rajesh Datta, District Development Manager, NABARD said NABARD would work for awareness of farmers about water conservation in 1 lakh villages through 8,000 ‘Jaldoots’, out of whom 200 would work in 5,000 villages of Punjab. Prof Lakhbir Singh, president, PAHAL said PAHAL would train 32 ‘Jaldoots’ to work in 400 villages of Jalandhar, Kapurthala and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar districts.
After the training, these ‘Jaldoots’ will visit villages and sensitise more than 50 farmers in each village regarding the latest techniques and farming technology available to grow more crop per drop of water. Dr Kuldeep Singh, Deputy Director, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Noormahal, Jalandhar, said in his technical session said that growing one kg of rice requires 4,000 litre of water to be pumped from ground, which can never be recharged easily.
Naresh Gulati, Chief Agricultural Officer, Department of Agriculture said crop diversification was the need of the hour. He talked about the importance of awareness among farmers. Er Lupinder Singh, District Soil Conservation Officer, Jalandhar, said there were many options available for farmers to reduce the consumption of water used during irrigation and government was promoting these options through various means.
Apart from others, Wattan Singh, Lead District Manager, Jalandhar, also addressed the ‘Jaldoots’. Liakatbir Singh, master trainer for districts Jalandhar, Kapurthala and SBS Nagar familiarised the ‘Jaldoots’ with all technicalities of the campaign and of the android app for data collection for the creation of a database of all India’s water resources.
In this event, the district administration, district Development Department, district Agriculture Department, district Soil and Water Conservation Department and the Krishi Vigyan Kendra, joined hands with PAHAL and NABARD to strengthen the water conservation campaign in the region.