Punjab, Haryana could face more impact of global warming: Govt

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New Delhi, Apr 17 (UNI) The government today warned that Punjab and Haryana could face greater impact of any climate change which could in turn adversely affect wheat and rice production in the country.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar, while replying to a short-duration discussion in the Rajya Sabha on price rise, said that during the past two years there had been considerable changes in climate conditions which was manifest in fewer number of floods in various flood prone states.

''It looks like that the areas to be affected more will be Punjab an Haryana and if these two states face the impact, it will affect wheat and rice production,'' he said.

Following the revelation, the government had called a meeting of agricultural scientists and experts and taken some steps.

The Minister, however, sought to allay fears of food shortages in the country saying that during the past two years, the foodstock situation had improved.

He said the Food an Agricultural Organisation (FAO) had warned of growing food shortages in the world. However, India had enough stocks.

He said wheat prices had increased throughout the world mainly because of past two years drought in Australia, which is the main wheat exporter, and US decision of producing bio-fuels from foodgrains.

India too was producing bio-fuels but not from foodgrains. It was producing bio-fuel from waste.

''Government of India has taken a conscious decision to convert biofuels from waste and not use foodgrains.'' The Minister said wheat and rice production in the country which had registered a decline in 2003-2004, had shown an increase during the past three years.

This (the shortage of foodgrains) was bound to increase prices, he added.


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