Climate change and agriculture are interrelated processes, both of which take place on a global scale. Climate change affects farming in a number of ways, including through changes in average temperatures, rainfall, and climate extremes (e.g. heat waves), changes in pests and diseases, changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide and ground-level ozone concentrations, changes in the nutritional quality of some foods and changes in sea level.
Climate change is already affecting agriculture, with effects unevenly distributed across the world.
Climate change will impair farm production in many poor countries and regions The accelerating pace of climate change, combined with global population and income growth, threatens food security everywhere. Agriculture is extremely vulnerable to climate change. Higher temperatures eventually reduce yields of desirable crops while encouraging weed and pest proliferation. Pests management become less effective, meaning that higher rates of pesticides will be necessary to achieve the same levels of control.
Heat waves can cause extreme heat stress in crops, which can limit yields if they occur during certain times of the plants’ life-cycle. Heavy rains that often result in flooding can also be detrimental to crops and to soil structure. Most plants cannot survive in prolonged waterlogged conditions because the roots need to breathe. The overall impacts of climate change on farming are expected to be negative, threatening global food security.
Effect of Climate Change on Agriculture:
Climate change is perceptible through a rise in all India mean temperature and increased frequency of extreme rainfall events in the last three decades. This causes fluctuation in production of major crops in different years.
Impact of climate change on Indian agriculture was studied under National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA). Rainfed rice yields in India are projected to reduce marginally (<2.5%) in 2050 and 2080 and irrigated rice yields by 7% in 2050 and 10% in 2080 scenarios. Further, wheat yield projected to reduce by 6-25% in 2100 and maize yields by 18-23%. Future climates are likely to benefit chickpea with increase in productivity (23-54%).
Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has initiated a network project NICRA during 2011 to address the impact of climate change on Indian agriculture. This committee recommends measures to be taken through NICRA for making Indian agriculture more resilient to changing climate. Besides an expert committee periodically review the project and advise on various aspects. Vulnerability assessment of Indian Agriculture to climate change is undertaken by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). Such an assessment was for 573 rural districts of India (excluding the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep). Based on the vulnerability analysis, 109 districts out of 573 rural districts (19% of total districts) are ‘very high-risk’ districts, while 201 districts are risk districts.