Heat stress- A core issue to vegetables growers in Punjab

Heat stress is a great threat to food security as well as food safety for poor nations around the globe. Burning summer is an impediment in sustainable agriculture. Global warming and climate change are having alarming situation for Punjab province. According to FAO and HKO Report:

The central Punjab has a semi-arid climate with hot summer having average temperatures above 40°C and maximum temperature peaks above 45°C (May-July). In some areas temperature rises to about 51°C.

In agriculture heat stress is considered when heat cause irreversible damage to the vegetables. In Punjab, vegetable growers have impressive nervousness when summer temperature rise, particularly when they ascend in mix with low precipitation. Managing heat stress can disappoint for plant specialists, so it’s vital to discover courses for ensuring plants in searing temperature. Research should continue perusing to take in more about how to secure vegetables in hot climate.

There are various affects i.e., poor germination of seeds, stunting of growth, falling of leaves and flower is most common disruptive during burning heat. Light spots appear on the surface of leaves and vines of vegetables become wrapped during intense heat.Heat stress causes abortion on pollens, highly effecting the pollination and causes sterility in vegetables.This is the major loss to economy of poor farmer and it got in his nerves.High temperature becomes a cause of oxidative stress at biochemical level in plants. It also produces poisonous chemicals in vegetables, becomes risk to health of consumer.

Heat stress effect both yield and quality of vegetables.Vegetables are health nutritious as these provide vitamins and anti-oxidants, have low level of sugars and fat.Okra, tomato, pumpkin, squashes and gourds all have been affected.

For example cucumber production is going to be limited in Punjab during summer.Cucumber growers have more focus to grow it in tunnels in winter as they don’t get profit by selling misshape and deformed cucumbers due to intense heat in summer. People don’t prefer to eat rough surface cucumber.

Intense heat is destroying our vegetable production. In Punjab farmers do laborious task but get nothing. Burning sunlight damages shiny skin of the vegetables. Skin damage by sunburn is very common in summer vegetables. This is main hindrance for vegetable export in country.

An integrate approach is necessary to save vegetables in such situations. Growing vegetables in the right area is essential.As vegetables require less area, so behind the wall of any building will be helpful in providing shade.We should encourage “Agro-forestry”. When there are trees around the field of vegetable area, it will create a partial shade and also act as shelter belts. It’s also important to water your plants frequently as evaporation becomes high in summer. Heat becomes the cause of drought stress. Keep in mind that many sun-loving plants, such as tomatoes, also require a lot of water. Water is the key component to healthy plants, especially during the hottest parts of the day.

A layer of organic mulch around the base of the vegetable will save from damage acting as insulation to the soil and help the plants retain moisture. It will cope with the effect of the strong sunlight by soaking it up before the heat gets to the ground below.During summer heat evaporate water immediately from soil surface.In lath house production, vegetable crops are covered by green cloth to protect them exposure to direct sun. Keep in mind the covering material has some pores. We can use sheets of burlap or organic cotton avoids plastic materials because they don’t allow for air circulation.

Under sprinkler irrigation plant feel cool to an extent. Water schedule should be set early in the morning or during evening. Spraying of vegetables crops by plant growth regulators at its optimized dose is found to enhance the growth and mitigate the deleterious effects in warm weather because these chemicals enhance the antioxidant system of the plant.

It is inevitable for government to take a step to save vegetables under threat through various research institutes by screening of verities among species is very important against heat stress via research institutes. Sprinkler irrigation should be subsidies by the government. Commercial production of PGRs should be ensured to lower down its price.There is need to encourage “Kitchen gardening”.If the problem is not solved it would cause disappearance of certain vegetables and reduction of yield in many vegetables in Punjab during summer.


1Mujahid Ali, 1Amber BeseliLyann, 2Tassadduq Rasool



I completed my B.SC(Hons) in Agri Extension major from University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. I am Director, Agrihunt.
I am also Deputy Editor, The Veterinary News and Views.

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