Experts address climate concerns at 5th International Agronomics Congress

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The fifth International Agronomics Congress on “Agri-Innovations to Combat Food and Nutrition Challenges” being held in the city witnessed scientists deliberating on upcoming challenges in the field of agriculture.

According to experts, 30-35 per cent of India’s crops would be affected by drought by the year 2050. They also highlighted how global maize production had declined by 5.6 per cent and a similar downward trend was observed in other crops. On a global level, soybean production had reduced by 4.8 per cent and rice by 1.8 per cent.

The Congress also revealed how major crops like barley, rice, maize, potatoes, soybean and vegetables will suffer nutritional loss by an average of 3 per cent by 2050 due to elevated CO2 concentrations.

Availability of protein, zinc and iron is expected to be reduced by 12 per cent. To meet the global demand, farmers would need to produce 50 per cent more food by 2050 in a scenario where the extent of agricultural land has been fast shrinking. 

The congress is being organised at Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU) and during his inaugural address on Tuesday, Dr V Praveen Rao, Vice-Chancellor, PJTSAU, deliberated on increasing food grain production by 1.6 times by 2070 to feed the increasing population. 

Dr Trilochan Mohapatra, Secretary, Director General, ICAR said that there was a tremendous increase in export of wheat, basmati rice, sugarcane and cotton and expressed concerns over oilseeds production. He suggested reducing the cost of production by using zero-tillage, conservation agriculture and weed management.

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