Saturday, February 11, 2012

At kinnow festival, women leave their mark, take home major awards

For years she had remained a housewife but Rajni Setia slowly began showing interest in her husband's farming activities. On Friday, the woman from Pattibilla village in Abohar walked away with the prestigious "best kinnow of the show" award in the two-day Kinnow festival at Abohar. " We do kinnow farming on about 80 acres of land. The family is really happy to get this title. More than 4,000 kinnow varieties were on display and it was tough competition for the best fruit award", said Rajni's husband, Anil Setia.

Rajni is part of a host of women farmers who bagged major awards at this year's festival. Her cousin, Veenu Setia won the top prize in the citrus pickle category while Karamjit Kaur Danewalia, popularly known as the Kinnow Queen in the region, stood second in the best orchards category.

Seema Diwan from Khera village in Abohar bagged the top honour in the good kinnow variety. She, however, had to share the award with three other men - Balwinder Singh Tikka from Malaut, Promil Setia from Sappanwali village in Abohar and Rahul Singh from Muktsar.

In the desi orange variety, Krishan Devi from Churiwala Dhana village in Fazilka won the first prize, while Parminder Kaur from Daulatpura village in Fazilka won in the Kagji lemon variety. In Red blush category Parkash Kaur from Panjkosi village in Fazilka was the winner.

Apart from the women, the other prominent winners include Jatinder Singh from Samana, who won in the foster fruit category, while Ravinder Kumar from Hoshairpur won the first prize in the Chakotra variety, which is rarely grown in Punjab. Vishavjeet Singh, who hails from Fazilka, was the winner in the Galgal variety.

V-C turns to farmers for funds

Abohar: After urging varsity staff to contribute to a corpus fund created by Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), Vice-Chancellor Dr B S Dhillon on Friday turned to farmers, asking them to donate generously to the fund. Speaking at the prize distribution function of the Kinnow festival at Abohar, Dhillon said voluntary contributions from PAU staff had added around Rs 1.5 crore to the corpus fund that has been created to complete various development projects undertaken by the university. The PAU vice-chancellor added that despite a 100 crore grant from the Centre in 2006, escalating costs of various projects had caused a fund crunch resulting in delays. Urging farmers to come forward with voluntary donations, Dhillon said some projects like the food industry centre would help farmers market their products. The V-C also sought more funds from the Centre. Dhillon asked farmers to focus more on self marketing to ensure good rates for their products.

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