Ludhiana in Punjab is located in the agro-ecological zone which can be safely called the “wheat bowl” of India - Sharad Pawar
Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) signed here today an MoU to set up Borlaug Institute for South Asia. The Institutes will be established at Ludhiana in Punjab, Pusa in Bihar and Jabalpur in M.P. Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Processing Industries Shri Sharad Pawar said that the establishment of Borlaug Institute for South Asia in India will enable to harness the best of international science in meeting food security challenges and will become an agricultural hub for the South Asia region. Shri Pawar said, “Ludhiana in Punjab is located in the agro-ecological zone which can be safely called the “wheat bowl” of India. This region had been at the forefront of Green Revolution and has been the region of high productivity. However, the region is facing problems of high ground water withdrawal and the consequent water scarcity, and climate change effects such as terminal heat. Agricultural productivity in the region has hit a plateau. The Center of Borlaug Institute at Ludhaina will have to concentrate on these issues and introduce newer verities that will be high yielding, more water and nutrient-efficient, terminal heat-resistant and, therefore, will produce more with fewer inputs.” About Borlaug Institute at Pusa in Bihar Shri Pawar said, this center can concentrate on the research priorities of Eastern India and Maize-based agricultural systems should be the focus of research at this center. He said, Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh is another strategically located agro-ecological zone of Central India from where substantial productivity gains in agriculture, particularly wheat and maize can come. This is also the region with substantial Kharif and Rabi fallows which can be put to cropping with judicious combination of crop, cropping system machinery and inputs, Shri Pawar added. The Institute will create state of the art research facilities to support the maize and wheat R&D and broaden the range of varieties and tools available to farmers. It will also strengthen local crop breeding programmes to meet food production challenges.