Saturday, 13 June 2009

Crida warns of severe climate change impact on agriculture in India

2009
Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, June 12: Climate change will severely affect agricultural production in Andhra Pradesh with a fall in yield ranging from eight to 30 per cent, according to city-based Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture.

Crida has conducted studies on the effect of climate change on sorghum production. Says B Venkateswarlu, Crida director, "rainfed sorghum yields in Rayalaseema may reduce eight to 10 per cent by 2020 and 18 to 30 per cent by 2050 and 2080
respectively. In Telangana region the productivity of sorghum will reduce by three, five and 10 per cent by 2020, 2050 and 2080".

Referring to the estimation of water surplus amounts in different regions of the State during 2020 and 2050 compared with the present levels, Crida warns that water surplus availability may reduce by five to nine per cent and 10 and 15 per cent in north Telangana regions during the period. In north coastal regions the availability may reduce by 14 to 49 per cent and 41 to 100 per cent in 2020 and 2050 respectively. This means reduction in runoff into river flows.

"Largescale shifts in cropping patterns may take place in future. We need to use water more judiciously and several new agricultural technologies need to be developed to cope with climate change. Weather insurance has to be adopted on a massive scale in the country," Dr Venkateswarlu said.

Crop simulation models indicate that an increase of two degree Celsius in temperature during the rabi season may decrease the wheat yields by 15 to 17 per cent in wheat crop in Punjab region. Similarly for Gujarat region, two degree Celsius may decrease the wheat yield by 19 per cent under optimum irrigated conditions. In Chhattisgarh region, the increase in temperature by one to two
degree Celsius during the reproductive stage will reduce the yield by three to four quintals per hectare.

In Tamil Nadu during kharif season about 10 to 15 per cent decrease in rice yields is expected by 2020 due to increase in thermal regime, further reduction in yields up to 30 to 38 per cent is expected by 2050. In Orissa the rice crop yields are expected to fall by 10 per cent by 2020 compared to the yield levels of 2006, he
said.

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