African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6578


Scope for enhancing and sustaining rice productivity in Punjab (Food bowl of India)

  G. Mahajan*, Kuldeep Singh and M. S. Gill        
Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana-141004, India.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 23 November 2011
  •  Published: 30 November 2012



Rice production in Punjab has increased 23 times in the past seven decades, mainly due to increased grain yield rather than increased planting area. This increase has come from the development of high-yielding varieties and improved crop management practices, such as optimum transplanting time, nitrogen fertilization, improved weed and irrigation management. However, sustainability of rice cultivation in Punjab is at risk due to receding water table and degradation of natural resource base. As the population of India rises, it will pose more pressure on Punjab to produce more rice (about 20%) by 2030 to meet the domestic needs, due to less arable area, less water, global climate change, labour shortage and increasing consumer demand for high quality rice (which often comes from low yielding varieties). The major problems confronting rice production in Punjab are excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides, receding water table, degradation of soil health, and oversimplified crop management. Despite these challenges, good research strategy can lead to increase in rice production in Punjab. These include the development of new varieties with high yield potential, resilience to climate change and tolerance to major abiotic stresses such as drought and heat, and the establishment of integrated crop management and new crop establishment method, namely direct seeded rice.


Key words: Rice sustainability, Punjab, North-western Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP), rice productivity, food security.