Scientists told to come out with stains of pest/weed/disease/heat resistant crops with drought tolerance
Author(s): City Air NewsBiotechnologists and scientists from the various parts of the globe on Monday during brain storming session on the second day of Punjab Agriculture Summit at Chappar Chiri (Mohali). Chappar Chiri/Mohali/Chandigarh,...
Chappar Chiri/Mohali/Chandigarh, February 17, 2014: Biotechnologists and scientists from the various parts of the globe today had brain storming session on the second day of Punjab Agriculture Summit and the focus of the discussion was to increase production and meet the emerging challenges in the field of agriculture.
Initiating the discussion Dr. Thomas Lumpkin, Director General, CIMMYT, Mexico and K.V. Prabhu, Joint Director Research IARI, New Delhi said that Agro Biotechnologists would have to focus on developing pest and disease resistant crops with proper weed management, drought tolerance having reduced demand of fertilizer, keeping in view the increased climatic change in the world besides explosion of population due to doubling of life expectancy. They said that though production has increased from 15 Metric tonne to 257 MT from 1975 to 2012 but there was not expected decrease in poverty as farmers got higher real income with reduced prices.
Painting a grim picture for India they said that India on date has 17% of world’s human and 11% livestock population. They said that India would have to focus on low water consuming highly productive crops as the country with 1/5th of population of world has only 4.2% world’s water. He said that picture gets grimmer with country having only 2.4% of world’s area of which only 40% area was net irrigated area. They said that India cannot ignore agriculture sector as its 52% of population earns livelihood in agriculture sector and contributes 14.2% in GDP.
Expressing concern over impending nutritional insecurity, the scientists revealed a startling fact that per capita availability of food grain in country has remained confined to 400-470 grams from the year 1951 whereas there has been steady decline in availability of per capita pulses since 1951 to around 50 grams per capita.
Dwelling the challenges for second green revolution the scientists said the challenges included meeting the demand of food grains, breaking yield barrier, ensuring nutritional security, increasing factor productivity, improving soil health and water table, managing incidence of diseases and pests and climate change-the biggest threat.
Describing increasing demand for food grains as a major challenge, the scientists said that against existing production of 257 billion tonnes of grains, the country would have demand of 285 million tonnes and if we failed to increase production substantially the country would have to import grains in 2023.
Focusing of water efficient crops, the scientists said that it was imperative for sustaining human population as annual per capita availability of water resources that was 8192(m3) in the year 1900 is set to reduced to 1235 (m3) in the year 2050. The scientists also discussed coming out with disease resistant crops and making the crops nutritionally enriched.
On this occasion Dr. Deepak Pental, Director, Centre for Genetic Manipulation of Crop Plants, University of Delhi made a presentation on Genetic modification in crops: its costs and benefits and underlined the need for creating awareness amongst farmers for GM Crops. On this occasion Gurpreet Singh Sekhon and K.V.S Sidhu both Progressive farmers also shared their experiences and it was followed by a informed discussion besides queries by progressive farmers who wanted to clear their doubts about quality of genetically modified crops. //punjab news live, punjab news online, punjab news, punjab news headlines, punjab breaking news, india news, punjab news, world news,