Tribune News Service
Ludhiana, March 13
Norwegian Ambassador to India, Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg, accompanied by Erlend Draget, second secretary, and Undis V Singh, advisor, visited the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today and discussed areas of collaboration with the senior university officials.
In his remarks, the Norwegian envoy promised greater focus on issues such as research and development, renewable energy, environmental policy, polar affairs and marine issues. While pointing out that Norway was one of the major investors in India, Kamsvåg said he looked forward to cooperation in the area of sustainable growth and in this regard, PAU could a play a vital role. He also applauded the efforts of the university in sensitising farmers towards cost-effective alternatives for stubble burning, while hoping that farmers cooperate by making best use of technologies developed. Referring to the famous Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway, the Ambassador remarked that India’s contribution in the seed bank had been immense.
While replying to the diplomat’s question on policy priorities for increasing farmers’ income in the state, RS Sidhu, registrar, PAU, highlighted that the market price for crops other than wheat and rice needs to be substantially increased along with an assured market for the same, in addition to setting up of processing industry for high-value crops and increased funding for agricultural research at the national level. Sidhu also shared collaborative research and HR-exchange programmes as areas of mutual cooperation and agricultural growth among two countries. The team later visited the crop demonstrations of the department of plant breeding.
Earlier, SS Kukal, dean, College of Agriculture, welcomed the dignitaries and Navtej Singh Bains gave an overview of PAU’s research activities.
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