‘Maize is crop of the era, India lagging behind’
The scientist added that Punjab’s contribution in paddy has come at a major cost. “Depleting water table, labour cost, soil degradation, fuel are enough signals to change the paddy -wheat cycle,” Lumpkin said with respect to Punjab. The major challenge is to produce more food with less and less water, he added.
Impressed by Lumpkin’s explanation, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said: “Our state is also thinking of diversifying area under paddy, so let it be maize provided the Centre ensures a proper price support for the crop.”
Meanwhile, director general of the International Rice Research Institute in Philippines, Dr R A Zeigler, lauded PAU and said the university has served farmers well in the last five decades.
He, however, urged PAU to focus on research.
Dr S Ayyappan, director general, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) credited PAU’s efforts for Punjab being designated as the “food basket and food bowl of India”.
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