IMPHAL, Feb 1 – The Northeastern region will have a glorious future for agriculture in the era of climate change.
Father of Green Revolution and Rajya Sabha member Prof MS Swaminathan addressing the second convocation of the Central Agricultural University (CAU) here on Tuesday, said, “I see glorious future for the agriculture of this region in an era of climate change”.
Though the founding chairman of the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation didn’t disclose details, he admitted that challenges are many but opportunities are equally many. “Some crops like rubber may do better in this region than in Kerala when mean temperature goes up by 1-2 degree Celsius due to climate change”, he added.
North East produces about 5.8 million tonnes of foodgrains as against the requirement of about 7.5 million tonnes. The gap between potential and actual yield is high in most farming systems, ranging from 155 per cent in mustard and going upto 650 per cent in wheat.
“This university should provide a platform of biodiversity and eco-system services in the region. We need more agricultural knowledge to deal with situation like climate change”, the 86 year-old scientific researcher said.
Dr S N Puri,Vice Chancellor of CAU said, with a view to develop sustainable and eco-friendly technologies which can bring about a far reaching impact on productivity and production of crops, animals and fishes in Northeastern region, the varsity has so far carried out 134 internally funded research projects on need based location specific researchable issues of which 75 projects have been completed and 59 projects are ongoing.
He informed that pest and disease management of citrous plants particularly of Khasi Mandarin is posing a serious problem not only in Manipur but also in Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.
He further added that rice variety CAU-RI developed by the university and released by the State variety release committee and subsequently notified by the Central Seed Committee during 2008 recorded the highest grain of 10,210.14 kilogram per hectare in farmers’ field of one Nongthonbam Brojen Singh of Awang Potsangbam in Manipur’s Imphal West district in the HYV rice crop competition of the State during 2009-10.
Altogether 537 graduate and post graduate students were conferred their respective degrees during the Convocation which was attended by Rajya Sabha MP Rishang Keishing, Chancellor of the CAU, Dr HK Jain, teaching and non-teaching staff of the varsity, students and others.