CLIMATE CHANGE: What does a farmer need to know? | BLOG SHURUWAATAGRI
Updated: Mar 16, 2022
Practices suggested reducing the risk
Climate change refers to fluctuations in weather patterns due to changes in greenhouse gas concentration, temperature, rainfall, wind, and many more.
For the past three decades, there had been an experience of high temperature, dry spells, or erratic rainfall. Though temperature had got down from 2009 when there was way high temperature to now yet it has not managed to reach optimum temperature set by global agencies it's not even revolving around. There had been a surge in Carbon footprint.
Climate affecting Agriculture
A 4.5-9% negative impact on production implies a cost of climate change to be roughly up to 1.5 percent of GDP per year. The fluctuations in Climate causes fluctuations in the crops grown. The cropping cycle and other agricultural operations are affected. Reports released under National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) reveal that rain-fed rice yields in India are projected to reduce by <2.5% in 2050 and 2080 and irrigated rice yields by 7% in 2050 and 10% in 2080. Moreover, wheat yield is projected to reduce by 6-25% in 2100 and maize yields by 18-23%. Interestingly, it also reveals that chickpeas would experience an increase in productivity by 23-54%.
Agriculture affecting climate
Release of methane and nitrous oxide especially by livestock or crops like rice.
Some crops like rice, cotton require a huge amount of water which may result in the development of water scarcity.
Destruction of natural ecosystems for practic
ing farming is yet another factor affecting climate.
NICRA launched in February, 2011
The Vulnerability Assessment Test is undertaken by ICAR discloses high risk to 109 districts of 573 rural districts surveyed. To avoid situations like these ICAR has initiated a project named National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture, NICRA under the Chairmanship of
Secretary, DG, ICAR with members representing different Ministries, GOI to escape the expected challenges.
Under this project, various heat and drought-tolerant varieties are released.
Zero till planting is being practiced in Punjab and Haryana.
High-yielding varieties such as HD 2967, HD 3086, etc. are released by ICAR.
Demonstration of site-specific technology.
Enhancement of capability of scientists.
For countries like India sustaining a huge population, it is necessary to fight all such problems and ensure food sufficiency to the extent possible.
Practices suggested to reduce the risk
1. Practicing sustainable agriculture to save resources, retain fertility and obtain necessary yield.
2. Practicing mixed farming to retain biodiversity and reduce the dose of fertilizers.
3. Zero or no-tillage to avoid disturbance to the soil.
4. Adoption of the latest technology that would help reach the least destruction to nature with good work efficiency.
5. To shift from resource-intensive to low external input sustainable agriculture.
6. Adoption of zero budget natural farming with a mix of practices that help obtain multiple objectives like less resource use, more yield, promoting biofertilizers, etc.
7. Increasing soil health through compost application.
8. Adopting organic farming.
9. Using renewable energy rather than burning fossil fuels.
10. Supporting farmer markets and local food.
Challenges in India
India emits the third largest amount of greenhouse gas in the world.
A study by CIMMYT highlighted that India has the potential to cut 18% of its annual greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture and livestock sector. It could be met by management of resources, avoidance of unnecessary doses of fertilizers, and adoption of practices like mixed farming, zero tilling, etc.
Adopt practices like low external input system, zero budget natural farming, low external input sustainable agriculture.
The greatest challenge we pose is the difficulty in persuading farmers to change their long-practiced activities and adopt newer ones.
It also requires capital to adopt modern technologies.
It would require countries to enhance farmers’ skills and use them to ensure food security along with a reduction in footprint.