Climate Change Affecting Agriculture, Wheat Production in India Could Drop by 23%: Agri Ministry

By Abha Toppo

The effects of climate change along with rising pollution are causing direct harm not just to human beings, but also to the agricultural crops.

Agriculture Ministry in a written response to the parliamentary committee said that crops like wheat, paddy, maize, potato, cotton, sorghum, mustard and coconut are likely to be badly affected by climate change.

The ministry informed the parliamentary committee presided by BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi that production of wheat will decline by 6 to 23 percent by 2050 if proper steps are not taken in a timely manner. The production of wheat could reduce by 6,000 Kgs for every 1°C rise in the temperature.

The ministry further said that by 2050, maize production can fall by 18 percent. But if necessary and required steps are taken, maize production could actually be raised by 21 percent. Meanwhile, paddy production could also go down by 4 to 6 percent by 2020 because of climate change. But with the right involvement, production of paddy could also be increased by 17 to 20 percent.

The parliamentary committee has made the 30th report on ‘Demonstrating National Action Plan on Climate Change’. The National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) includes 8 ‘national missions,’ one of which is sustainable agriculture.

The committee while preparing the report had asked for data of various agricultural programmes in effect and information on how many were active and up to what degree. The committee noted that the whole planet is getting affected by climate change, due to which agriculture has been quite unfavorably affected.

Climate change can also affect the quality of fodder. And with the rise of carbon dioxide, there is an equivalent decrease in the amount of zinc, protein, iron and other minerals in grains.

The committee has expressed dissatisfaction over government’s efforts in tackling the effects of climate change on farming, which it termed insufficient. It also said that fighting the ill-effects of climate change for the sake of growers and farming will need more emphasis on organic farming.

Potato production could drop by 2.5 percent by 2020, 6 percent by 2050 and 11 percent by 2080.

Source: Krishi Jagran (press release) (blog)

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