DIRECTOR OF Indian Institute of Pulses Research (Kanpur), Prof Masood Ali stressed the need to identify promising crops for higher output and profits both under irrigated and water scarce condition.
He was delivering a lecture on `Role of Pulses in Crop Diversification’ on the second day of the three-day Golden Jubilee National Symposium on ‘Conservation Agriculture and Environment’ at Swatantrata Bhawan on the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) campus here on Friday.
“The present agriculture scenario, especially in irrigated areas, is dominated by mono-culture of certain crops as more than 80 per cent of the food comes from about 10 crop species. Thus, crop diversification is of great importance to deal with the problems arising out of mono-culture,” he observed.
“For instance, diversifying rice-wheat system with berseem, mustard, sugarcane effectively minimises Phalaris minor infestation whereas inclusion of grain legumes for grain, fodder and grain manure improves the fertility and soil health,” he said and highlighted the role of pulses in crop diversification.
He said pulses, on account of their ability to thrive better than other crops under harsh climate and fragile eco-system, on one hand and offer sustainability to agricultural production and nutritional security to rural masses on the other, had great promise for crop diversification.
“Moreover, in cropping systems, pulses help improve soil fertility. Extensive research at various locations conclusively proved that diversification of pulses improved total productivity of the system, net return, energy yield apart from soil fertility,” he claimed.
He said four options, such as inclusion of short duration varieties of pulses as catch crop in irrigated areas, introduction in new inches, substitution of existing low yielding crop in the prevailing systems and pulses as inter crop with wide-space planted crops and relay crop were readily available for diversification in cropping systems through pulses.
Prof DM Hegde of directorate of oilseeds Research (Hyderabad) delivered his lecture on `Oilseeds in Crop Diversification’ and Dr MS Gill dwelt upon ‘Crop Diversification-Its Role Towards Sustainability and Profitability’. Dr C Jayanthi spoke on `Diversification of Agriculture Through Integrated Farming System Approach’.