Chandigarh, November 26, 2012: In a bid to put the agriculture diversification on fast track, the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has asked the US-based Monsanto hybrid seed company to establish its research Centre to undertake extensive R&D for the production of high yielding hybrid seeds of the Maize in the state.
A high level delegation of the company led by Vice President, Global Vegetables and Asia Commercial, Consuelo E Madere recently called on the Chief Minister here at his official residence.
During the deliberations, the Monsanto’s CEO India Region D Narain apprised the Chief Minister that the company had developed heat tolerant hybrid maize varieties for the Northern region especially Punjab adding that the company had focused to develop maize varieties for the kharif season in order to provide a viable alternative to paddy in the state. He also assured Badal that company would also make all out efforts to develop high yielding soya bean seeds in its endeavor to boost diversification of agriculture in the state.
Assuring all possible assistance to the company, the Chief Minister directed the Vice Chancellor (VC) Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) to provide technical data and logistic support to enable them to produce quality hybrid seeds best suited to the climatic conditions of the state.
Badal also constituted a high level committee headed by the Chairman of Punjab Farmers Commission Dr GS Kalkat with Financial Commissioner Development (FCD) Mr GS Sandhu, Advisor to Agriculture Dr Balwinder Singh Sidhu and Director Agriculture Dr Mangal Singh Sandhu as members to work out the modalities for developing high yielding varieties and Maize seed in tandem with the Monsanto Company besides in aiding them to set up research cum seed testing centre at the earliest. The Committee has also been mandated to suggest self sustaining marketing mechanism to ensure hassle free marketing of Maize to the farmers. The Chief Minister also asked the visiting Monsanto team to also provide high yielding varieties of Soya bean seed to give a fillip to the much needed thrust for crop diversification.
It may be recalled that the state government has planned to reduce the shift the area under paddy from 28 to 16 lakh hectares in a phased manner over a period of six years.
Initially it is purposed to bring nearly four acres of this area to Maize.
Prominent among other who attended the meeting included Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister SK Sandhu, Special Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister Gaggandip Singh Brar, Chairman of Punjab Farmers Commission Dr GS Kalkat, FCD GS Sandhu, Advisor to Agriculture Dr Balwinder Singh Sidhu and Director Agriculture Dr Mangal Singh Sandhu.
The Monsanto was represented by Director Branded Business and Corporate Affairs Gyanendra Shukla and Director Corporate Affairs Rajneesh Kumar.