The Agriculture Minister of Saskatchewan province of Canada Lyle Stewart on Tuesday evinced keen interest in collaboration with Punjab government in grain storage, technologies in food security, bio-sciences and development of new seed varieties in maize processing and soyabean cultivation.
A Canadian delegation led by Stewart called on the Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal here on the third day of Progressive Punjab Agriculture Summit (PPAS).
During Interaction with Badal, Stewart said that there was a tremendous scope of bilateral cooperation in these fields as both the countries have a vast working experience of agriculture. He apprised the Chief Minister that both the states were already working closely in the field of Veterinary sciences, adding that there was tremendous potential for the mutual cooperation in the other allied sectors of agriculture.
The visiting Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister also assured Badal that they would explore the possibility of transfer of water treatment technologies through Global Water Security Institute in Saskatoon to tackle the chronic problem of brackish water besides water logging in the southern Punjab.
Extending invitation to Punjab delegation for a Farm Show to be held in June this year, the Minister welcomed the proposal mooted by the Chief Minister for starting farmer exchange program between both the countries. He said that Saskatchewan would prefer collaboration with Punjab in varied fields adding that the existing arrangements of Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) with Saskatchewan University in developing new varieties of oil-seeds could be extended to cover new areas on the lines of student exchange program with Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) also.
Taking part in deliberations the Chief Minister informed the delegation that this first ever Progressive Punjab Agriculture Summit would be held every year and hereinafter advance intimations would be sent to the delegates from Canada to elicit their maximum participation in this mega event. He said that Punjab would welcome collaboration between Saskatchewan University and PAU for animal health care and developing new varieties of maize and soyabean.
Badal also desired that students exchange programme should be worked out and formulated mutually by PAU and Saskatchewan University. He also emphasized the need of Farmers’ Exchange Programme for fast and easy transfer of technologies to the field.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by Financial Commissioner Development (FCD) Suresh Kumar and his Special Principal Secretary Gaggandip Singh Brar.
The visiting delegation comprised Assistant Deputy Minister Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture Rick Burton and Chief of staff to Stewart, Tyler Lynch.