In view of the water shortage, there is need to conserve the water. More water is required in the rice crop. The need of the hour is to diversify the rice crop to some other crop which requires less water. Maize is such a crop which can meet the future demands and enhance the former's income.
Maize is the most suitable candidate crop which can replace rice in selected pockets and efforts should be made to sort out the constraints associated with its proliferation. There is need to focus on developing water logging tolerance genotypes under changing scenario of rainfall pattern.
An interface meeting was organized in Punjab to get the maximum benefit. Dr. B.S. Dhillon, Vice Chancellor, Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, in his inaugural address, said maize is the most suitable candidate crop which can replace rice in selected pockets and efforts should be made to sort out the constraints associated with its proliferation. He highlighted the need to focus on developing water logging tolerance genotypes under changing scenario of rainfall pattern. He further urged that fodder maize research and specialty corns should receive due priorities looking into the future demand and enhancing the income of farmers.
Dr. Sujay Rakshit, Director, ICAR-Indian Institute of Maize Research emphasized the need to diversify the rice-wheat cropping system, which has become most common cropping system in Punjab, due to more water requirement of rice crop, there is need to diversify the existing cropping system. He highlighted the significance of maize in this region which can play an important role.
Dr. N.S. Bains, Director, Research, PAU expressed hope that with adoption of new technologies like doubled haploids, improvements in maize could be brought about in accelerated manner.
Dr. Rajbir Singh, Director, ICAR-Agricultural Technology Application Research Institute applauded the initiative towards diversification of cropping system in Punjab, keeping maize in the forefront. He expressed his hope that in collaboration with ICAR institutes, PAU and Line Department, the target of maize-based diversification of cropping system can be achieved in coming time. He narrated some success stories of farmers who are earning handsome income by cultivating baby corn and other speciality corns.
Dr. R.K. Gupta, Director, ICAR - Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering & Technology highlighted the importance of agro-processing of maize and asserted that post-harvest management will be an important paradigm to enhance farmers’ income.
The meeting was attended by more than 80 State Government officials and scientists of Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVKs) of Punjab.