15 Apr 2015

High Time for Heat Tolerant and Insect Resistant Varieties of Crops

Today, India is the second most populous country in the world, with over 1.27 billion people (2014), more than a sixth of the world’s population. Already containing 17.5% of the world's population, India is projected to be the world’s most populous country by 2025, surpassing China, its population reaching 1.6 billion by 2050. Its population growth rate is 1.2%, ranking 94th in the world in 2013. On one hand the population of India as well as world’s population is increasing day by day and on the other hand, the land under cultivation is decreasing continuously.
Image Source(theguardian.com)
To feed the growing population, Agriculturists and Plant scientists have found out a way. Many high yielding varieties have been developed. Many different stress tolerant and drought resistance varieties are being developed by plant breeder. Hybrids are being preferred over wild varieties these days.

The hybrids have many advantages. They are high yielder, may be disease resistant, drought tolerant etc. But they have some disadvantages also. The hybrids are more likely to get attacked by insects as they are being developed by the cross of two different crops/varieties. So, they have a mixed character of both plants and due to this mixed character, the different insects which used to attack previously on two or more different plants based upon their character, now they all attack on a single hybrid. Thus, there is a great chance of crop failure nowadays due to Insect attack.

Moreover, these days the temperature of earth is increasing continuously due to global warming. Many crops are likely to get damaged due to increase in temperature of earth, if no immediate action is being taken.

So, scientists/agriculturists should develop the varieties of crops which are Insect Resistant and Heat Tolerant.

( Written by Rahul Raman, College President at All India Agricultural Students Association (AIASA) and graduating at Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi )







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