MULTAN – Climate change is affecting production of sugarcane and there is dire need to develop such varieties as could have resistant against the climate change.
Professor Dr. Aaleem Ahmed Khan, a teacher at Environmental Science Department, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan told APP here on Sunday that climate change posed a serious threat to sugarcane crop.
He stated that the farmers were not aware of impact of the climate changes and they must be educated in this regard.
He suggested farmers not to feed sugarcane crop during extreme summer or winter season as the crop remained under stress and could not avail maximum benefits of fertilizers. When temperature is between 15 degrees centigrade to 30 degrees centigrade, the farmers should feed fertilizers to crop for bumper production and full of maximum sugar content. The sugarcane crop improved its height one inch on each day, informed Dr. Aaleem.
He also proposed farmers not to throw granules directly in sugarcane crop but to mix it in irrigation water. The mixing of granules in irrigation water would be more beneficial. The direct throwing of granules in sugarcane field hurt wildlife as the birds pick the poisonous chemical and died.
Dr. Aaleem observed that government should spent amounts on capacity building of sugarcane scientists and arrange maximum foreign tours for exchange of expertise with scientists of other countries.
In Pakistan, usually, our scientists import sugarcane seed named as “fuzz” and then this fuzz undergo trials at different locations in the country. He proposed that sugarcane research institutes should be improved on modern lines for preparation of climatic change resistant varieties otherwise country’s sugarcane farmers and industry would suffer in future.
President Kissan Ittehad (Khanewal) Ramzan Jheed informed APP that the sugarcane farmers were already frustrated due to shortage of production this year. He remarked that the farmers were not taking interest in cultivation of sugarcane which also resulted into decrease in cultivation area.
He stated that government should take steps to ensure reasonable and timely return of payment to farmers against their produce from sugar mills owners otherwise there would be crisis of sugar in the country.
He also suggested improvement of research institute for preparation of high yielding and less water consumption varieties to address upcoming challenges to sugarcane crop. He also suggested proper monitoring of scales of sugar-mills so that no one could exploit innocent farmers by allegedly decreasing weights of the sugarcane trolley.
Meanwhile, the recent wet spell will augur well for various crops including orchards in south Punjab.
Assistant Director Agriculture Information Naveed Asmat Kohloon while talking to APP here on Sunday said that the rain would have positive impact on wheat, sugarcane, maize, vegetables, mango orchards and some other fodder crops.
Due to lack of rain in south Punjab in near past, the region was surrounded by environmental pollution and the dust particles, hovering in the environment, were faced with different issues. The process of photosynthesis had gone affected due to dust on leaves. The crops were with greater demand of rain, he added.
He termed recent rain as vital to infuse new life in agriculture. Similarly, the rain also provided nitrogen to the crops as nitrogen was present in atmosphere.
He however urged farmers to take care of weeds because the rain would grow also weeds. Although, rain would improve fruiting to mango orchards but there was threat of bacterial infection and anthracnose, he told. Black spots could emerge on mango leaves. In case of attack, the farmers should spray 250 grams copper hydroxide by mixing it in water, he advised.
He also urged farmers to contact agriculture department in case of any issues in this regard.