Agriculture in Punjab would witness an adverse effect due to the climate change in future. Predicting a steep rise in the average temperature during the coming decades, an agriculture expert said it would adversely affect the wheat and paddy crops.
Prof PK Aggarwal from International Water Management Institute said the average rise in temperature during the past 100 years was 0.75 degree Celsius, which would be 1.5 to 4.5 degree Celsius in the next 100 years. "It would lead to more evaporation and heavy rains," he predicted, adding that ozone concentration would also disturb the agriculture pattern. He suggested a proactive role on part of the government to involve a detailed planning instead of random thoughts.
He was speaking at a session on 'Challenges and Way Forward for Punjab Agriculture'. In his keynote address, Indian Council of Agricultural Research director general Dr S Ayyappan stressed on the need to improve coordination between farmers and agro-scientists.
"After implementation of the Food Security Act, the country is once again looking towards Punjab, but Punjab needs to conserve its soil and water along with adopting diversification in agriculture," he said, suggesting to farmers to shift to the "agro-business principle".
Giving tips on reduction in input costs and the subsequent increase in profit, he suggested the farmers to prepare a water budget for optimal use of water resources. He said that to counter the challenges faced by the agriculture sector in Punjab, the farmers should adopt diversification and venture into agro-processing, thereby setting up for themselves a self-sustaining profitable agro model.
Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Agricultural University vice-chancellor Dr BS Dhillon said that in the green revolution Punjab had exported its water and nutrients to other states. "The state discharged "national duty" at a very high cost. The nation should use Punjab as a national laboratory to develop strategies and technologies for sustainable agriculture so that Punjab is instrumental in leading the nation towards the second green revolution," he added.
He sought higher financial support from the Centre for agriculture, stressed on need for expansion and strengthening of R&D, enhanced subsidies to promote natural resource management for secure future and the need to create awareness among citizens about their responsibility in conservation of natural resources.
Former Haryana Agriculture University vice-chancellor Dr JC Katyal spoke on the soil and water management for sustainable agricultural development.