Speaking on the occasion, Dr Nazir Ahmad Sanghi, the Allama Iqbal Open University vice chancellor, said the current era demanded an innovative approach towards mechanised farming.
He said the ever-increasing population and stagnant agricultural productivity were threatening food security globally. Sanghi said that in order to bring about a farm mechanisation revolution in the country, it was necessary that farmers be equipped with user-friendly and affordable tools.
Dr Allah Bakhsh, the WMRC director highlighted the technologies designed and introduced by the institute and talked about their impact on farmers. He said skimming wells, bed plantations, drip irrigation and sprinkler systems were being displayed at the Post-graduate Agricultural Research Station.
Prof Muhammad Iqbal, the Faculty of Agricultural Engineering dean, said the faculty had been introducing demand oriented disciplines at the campus so as to cater to the requirements of trained manpower in the industry.
UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan called for precision agricultural initiatives with fabrication of new machineries for enhancement of agricultural productivity particularly water use efficiency.
He called for equitable distribution of water resources among the provinces and agricultural zones so that productivity could be increased. Khan said UAF had been trying to introduce new agronomic packages with greater water use efficiency and reduced inputs. Dr Mark S Hoddle, a scientist from the United States of America, lauded the UAF initiatives to attract farmers to the campus.
He said this was his seventh visit to the UAF, and that he had found the institution more vibrant in terms of technological initiatives.
Manzoor Khan Thakar, a progressive farmer, said he would provide a combine harvester to the university so that the university engineers could attempt reverse engineering.
Farmers from all over the Punjab attended the Farmer’s Day and expressed interest in innovations.
The chief guest, Sanghi, also inspected the wheat crop and inaugurated harvesting at PARS. Iqrar Ahmad Khan and Mark S Hoddle were the guests of honour.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 21st, 2013.