Climate change and Agriculture

Climate Change, a term that seems so easy to understand and has been around since the 1800s but has become a major concern for our well-being recently.

How does it start? Well, to put it in simple words it is mainly caused by the burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas which in turn produces heat-trapping gases. This has caused a balance shift in the usual climate change cycle which overtime is supposed to occur naturally but now due to the actions of the common man, the changing weather patterns have disrupted the usual balance of the nature which in turn has had a major impact on the Agriculture Industry worldwide.

Coming to India, where farming and agriculture have been around since we can tell time experienced a major impact, and if things remain the same things are only bound to get worse. Climate Change in India has caused a perceptible rise in India’s average temperature and has increased the frequency of rainfall in the country which has created a dilemma for farmers who are only focused on seasonal crops.

Not only this, after the impact of climate change on Indian agriculture was studied under National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) it was found that rainfed rice yields in India are projected to reduce marginally (<2.5%) in 2050 and 2080 and irrigated rice yields are projected to reduce by 7% in 2050 and 10% in 2080 scenarios. Further, wheat yield is projected to reduce by 6-25% in 2100 and maize yields by 18-23%. Future climates are likely to benefit chickpeas with an increase in productivity (23-54%).

In 2011 in order to combat the issues faced by the agricultural industry due to climate change the Indian government launched a new project termed NICRA in order to enhance the resilience of Indian agriculture to the change and vulnerability of the climate. Under NICRA project, 13 KVKs of Uttar Pradesh Zone resistant varieties were grown, pulses have been III carried out different activities under Technology taken in water-scarce areas, summer moong (Pant Demonstration Components (TDC) through various Moong 5 ) was introduced, late sown wheat varieties modules benefiting 47661 farmers (1165 natural (Naina, Raj 4120 and DBW17 ) were taken in line resources management, 5833 crop production, 5732 sowing as well as broadcasting. The sugarcane was livestock and fisheries, 4246 institutional demonstrated in trench and furrow method under interventions, 13178 capacity building 17230 groundwater depletion condition.

India has taken a step in the right direction but there is still a long way to go if we combat this issue of “Climate Change” which not just has an impact on agriculture but its effects go a long way on humanity. At the end of the day, we have to plan strategically for climate change, this is not an issue that we can combat in a day’s time but will take the collective minds of a lot of intelligent individuals who want to make a change. Research has shown that climate change can reduce agricultural income by 15-20 percent. It is high time now that the rationale of climate-resilient agriculture (CRA) is valued and implemented more rigorously.