Active Planning Needed to Tackle Climate Change Impact on Agri

Jul 16th, 2014 | By | Category: India, Vulnerability, Weather

Press Trust of India: With climate change casting a shadow on the behaviour of monsoon, the country should put in place pro-active plans to meet any contingency and maximise benefits of a good rainfall to soften the blow of any deficit, eminent agriculture scientist M S Swaminathan has said.

“El Nino is at the moment unpredictable…Both La Nina and El Nino…One enhances the rainfall, the other makes it less. On climate change, meteorologists are not able to forecast very accurately. They can say approximately. That’s one of the problems today.

“Very accurate long-term forecast is becoming difficult. Therefore, we should be prepared for every contingency. We should be prepared for excess rainfall, what I call flood code, (and) drought code,” Swaminathan told PTI here in an interview.

Noting that the approach at present to the weather patterns is “reactive”, he said the monsoon management strategies should become more scientific to prevent hardship to the agriculturists.

“Long ago, I said we must be proactive, not reactive. Now, we are reactive. We have a drought, then you say contingency plans have been prepared…The correct seeds are not available, the farmers sow and within three days again the crop fails. Therefore, we cannot be acting in a very ad hoc manner. It has to be done in a much more serious, pro-active planning.

“We should plan both. Maximise the benefits of a good monsoon and minimise the adverse impact of an abnormal monsoon. The planning should be on both sides of the coin. So, unless our monsoon management strategies become more refined, more scientific, we will find that the human hardship will be high. The farmers will be hard put. Suicides will take place and (it will lead to) very unfortunate situation,” he said.

Making NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) also focused on monsoon management and crop planning would go a long way in facing the vagaries of nature effectively and protecting the farmers from downsides, Swaminathan, known as the ‘Father of the Green Revolution in

India’, said.

“One is we have a problem of resources. Therefore, we must maximise the benefits of the investments we are making,” he said, adding, the main aim of NREGA should be to manage drought, flood and monsoon.

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