The promotion of paddy in Punjab was the result of a policy of the Centre to feed the nation. And now the Centre says that it is the responsibility of Punjab alone to ward off the state’s impending desertification.
-Ranjit Singh Ghuman
Professor of Economics, CRRID
THE pre-Green Revolution diversified agriculture of Punjab has turned into a wheat-paddy cycle. The so-called high yielding variety (HYV) seeds of wheat and paddy are giving high yield because of their high degree of responsiveness to water and chemical fertilisers.
But for constituting two committees in 1986 and 2002 (Johl Committee 1 & 2), there was hardly any policy response to promote crop diversification and address the water table issue. Both the reports, inter alia, recommended that a substantial area from under paddy be shifted to other crops as paddy was mainly responsible for the depleting water table. So far, nothing has happened.