Monday, October 11, 2010


Based on the deliberations made in different technical sessions of the National Seminar on \'Impact of Climate Change on Fruit Crops\' held at PAU on October 6-8, several recommendations were made. The recommendations were discussed with the house in the plenary session held under the Chairmanship of Dr. B.S.Dhillon, former Dean, Postgraduate Studies, PAU. Dr. A.S.Sidhu, Director, Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Hessarghatta Lake, Bangalore was the Vice-Chairman.

It was emphasized that climate change has set in that has manifested itself in terms of its impact in various fruits. Climate changes have the impact on ecology, morphology, physiology, flowering, yield, fruit quality and post-harvest performance of fruits. Production of sub-tropical and tropical fruits is being more adversely affected with rising temperature and unpredictable rainfall than the temperate fruits. The temperature fruit species from lower altitude are shifting towards higher altitudes. Wild fruit species of genetic importance are becoming extinct. This necessitates the conservation of bio-diversity.

The green house gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are causes of concern to horticulture. There is 10% increase in water requirement due to every one degree rise in global temperature. The rainfall increase and the adverse affect of climate can be counted by balanced plant nutrition. Mulching in horticultural crops can be a measure for soil moisture conservation and precision fertilizer placement and mycorrhiza can help in making judicious use of nutrients. Micro-irrigation systems can enhance water use efficiency. Only 18% of Punjab water is in safe zone whereas 75

% of area has over-exploitation of water while 4% area is critical and 3% area is semi-critical. Location specific techniques (half moon, full moon, drip line trenches, etc.) to conserve soil water under rainfed conditions should be followed.

Biotechnological interventions can help overcome climate stresses. Different kinds of molecular markers (simple sequence repeats and single nucleotide polymorphisms ) can be helpful in different crops. More emphasis on molecular techniques to characterise germplasm for need based fruit crop improvement is needed.

Biodiversity of insect pests , diseases, natural enemies, etc. needs to be thoroughly studied in relation to devising management strategies. Proper quarantine measures, registration of pesticides and waiting period need to be developed in fruit crops. Proper system for certification and nurseries and planting material need to be developed. Before the introduction of any fruit species in the new area, its quarantine implications needs to be viewed lest there is introduction of any new pest or pathogen.

Models to simulate the impact of changed climate, particularly, the elevated temperature and soil moisture stress on different fruit crops in the country should be developed. Research focus needs to be on identifying susceptible crop stages and on remedial agronomic practices. Emphasis needs to be given on crop improvement for stress tolerance through conventional and molecular breeding techniques.

To give a boost to horticulture industry, production of quality, disease-free planting material of different fruit crops needs to be strengthened. In horticulture, farming systems approach towards livelihood security needs to be given due consideration in terms of introduction of appropriate farming systems, enhancing efficiency of rainfed agriculture, conservation of natural resources, development of alternate livelihood opportunity harnessing the niche potential, capacity building, value addition, marketing, etc. The multi-tier system involving efficient use of vertical and horizontal space for the same piece of land was needed for enhancing fruit growers income. The subjects of carbon sequestrations, carbon trading and conservation need consideration in horticulture. There is an enormous scope for production of product diversification of temperate fruits which can fit in changing climatic situations and can tolerate biotic and abiotic stress under Himalayan eco-system.

Documentation of research findings made in horticultural crops in the form of documentaries, C.D.s, D.V.D.s, Booklets, etc. for dissemination of knowledge is needed.

Dr. Dhillon congratulated PAU where the three day national seminar was held after a long gap of 18 years. He said that the seminar recommendations will help policy planners and scientists to reorient programmes to promote horticulture in the country. Dr. Sidhu appreciated the good work done on fruits, vegetables and flower crops at PAU and said that the message emanating from PAU is well received elsewhere.

News From:

No comments:

eXTReMe Tracker