Chandigarh, September 27
A study by experts from the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Ludhiana, showed erratic behaviour and statistically significant decreasing trends in monthly and seasonal rainfall in lower Shivalik region of the state, which could adversely impact agriculture in the area.
The study recorded a decrease of 12 to 17 mm annually and of 9 to 14 mm in the monsoon over a 15-year period. In the kharif the decrease in rainfall was 9 to 15 mm where as in the rabi season it was 3 to 5 mm. In winters the decrease was 1 to 2 mm. Most of the rainfall in the areas under study was received in the monsoon season.
“As the agriculture under the study areas is entirely dependent on rainfall, the declining trends coincide with the different crop growth phases and cultural operations which ultimately affect the crop production in these regions,” the study observed.
“Therefore, farmers need to adopt different strategies such as rain water harvesting, planting less water requiring and short duration crops/cultivars to cope with the reducing rainfall and to avoid the risks of crop failure,” it cautioned.
Authored by three experts from PAU’s Regional Research Station, SBS Nagar, the study has been published by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) in the latest issue of its in-house journal.
The lower Shivalik region of Punjab, commonly called Kandi region, constitutes close to 8 per cent in the north eastern region of Punjab and lies in five districts—Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, SBS Nagar, Rupnagar and SAS Nagar.
“The agriculture in this region is rain fed and behaviour of rainfall is changing due to climate change. The detection of current pattern of rainfall in changing scenario of climate, in terms of annual, seasonal and decadal basis certainly has great importance on the local, regional and national scales, due to the associated critical socioeconomic consequences,” the study said.
The probability of reduction in productivity increases with the erratic behaviour of rainfall in terms of frequency, intensity and distribution. The scarcity in water availability due to delays in the onset of the rainy season, dry spells during the wet season and reduction in the length of the growing season results in crop failure, according to the study.