Perceptions of extension field staff regarding coping with the climatic impacts on wheat crop in rural areas of Punjab
Climate change is a global phenomenon and it has changed the landscape of global agriculture. Wheat is a globally acknowledged crop that is also influenced by climate change around the world. Wheat is a staple crop for Pakistan and recent development confirms that wheat is under huge pressure due to climate change. In this study, an attempt is made to consolidate the perceptions of the extension field staff about the impacts of climate change on wheat crops in district Sargodha of Punjab. Total 80, agriculture officers (AOs) and Field Assistants (FAs) working in public sector extension were chosen and interviewed face to face on a structured questionnaire. Findings indicate that lodging in wheat (x̅=2.26), increase in pests (x̅=2.202) and diseases (x̅=2.02) were the major impact of climate change on wheat crop. Increase precipitation (100%) and increase in temperature (77.5%) were the leading climatic indicators posing threats to the wheat crop. Aphids (95%) and yellow rust (87.5%) caused a reduction in yield as the result of climatic changes. All respondents (100%) suggested the adoption of raised bed plantations of wheat to cope with climate change. Farmers should be connected with the weather updated and public and private sector extension should diffuse the wheat production technology among farmers considering the climatic changes.
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