LUDHIANA: The colossal damage to crops in Punjab during recent rains and floods has not only shattered this seasons agriculture production targets but shall continue to cause worry for at least one year from now. The: scarcity of seed for sowing the coming rabi crops and next year’s kharif looms large over the farmers, threatening, the future food production prospects.

The wheat seed as well as grain meant for human consumption stored by farmers has largely been destroyed in areas which were inundated under water for several days. The large scale damage to paddy and other kharif crops implies there would be very little quality seed for next year.

According to Dr. KS Nandpuri director of research at Punjab Agricultural University the rice breeding material at PAU regional rice research Centre at kaputihala has been completely destroyed as the center has been less than six to ten feet of water. The seed production program of maize too has suffered very badly at the university’s farms and farmers’ fields.

The research fields on PAU camps here have also been seriously affected even though they did not come under floods. Thirty to 40 percent crop loss is feared there. The quality of seed produced in affected fields is also likely to be hit. The national and the state seed agencies are unlikely to come to rescue of farmers at such a large scale. The PAU has advised farmers to depend on their fellow farmers for getting the seed. The Government agencies have been urged to divert quality grain meant for human consumption for sowing in fields.

Article extracted from this publication >> October 21, 1988