A stakeholders’ consultation on restoring village ponds as a possible source for irrigation was held at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) on Sunday.
Researchers from the University of Cambridge (UK), PAU, Centers for International Projects Trust (CIPT) and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) had organized the consultation — ‘Village Ponds and Irrigation in Punjab: The Modern Utility of an Ancient Water Management Strategy’ — held to assess the possibility of increasing collection of surface water for agriculture in northwest India. The event was held under the project TIGRESS — ‘Transforming India’s Green Revolution by Research and Empowerment for Sustainable food Supplies’.
Suresh Kumar, chief principal secretary to Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, said, “Water resource management still remains to be done in Punjab. This consultation will go a long way in creating an outline for the restoration and integration of village ponds and developing irrigation technologies to conserve natural resources. State departments in collaboration with PAU could contribute in this direction.”
PAU Vice-Chancellor Dr. Baldev Singh Dhillon said, “The ever-increasing population has pushed us towards dense plantation but the challenges of climate change and depleting natural resources have made us re-think.” Keeping in view the needs of society, PAU will contribute to the revival of village ponds, he stated.
Delegates Dr. Adam Green and Dr. Cameron Petrie from Cambridge University, UK, presented an overview of early agriculture in northwest India.
PAU experts Dr. AS Toor and Dr. KG Singh gave a presentation on technology and practices for integrating village ponds into contemporary water management systems. They said, “Out of 78 village ponds at Ludhiana, 51 per cent of water is impure.”
An interaction was held also among government officials and agricultural experts on village ponds and irrigation in the state.
Dr. Navtej Singh Bains, Director Research, PAU said, “The efficient use of water in agriculture will not only have a positive impact on crop productivity but will also have positive implications for industry and households’ sectors.
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