Scientists and researchers struck a note of concern over the projected impact of climate change on Indian agriculture, especially coastal areas, and livestock at the just-concluded international conference on Bio-resource and Stress Management here.
Laxman Singh Rathore, Director-General, Indian Meteorological Department, set the tone for the discussions by pointing out that mean warming in India is likely to be in the range of 1.7 to 2 degree Celsius by 2030 and 3.3 to 4.8 degree Celsius by 2080s, relative to pre-industrial times.
“Warming is likely to be more over northern parts of India and a rise in night temperatures is likely across the country. Rainfall is likely to decline 5-10 per cent over southern parts, while an increase of 10-20 per cent is likely over other regions,” he said.
Further, projections of monsoon rainfall pattern over the Indian subcontinent indicate that by 2050, there will be a 10 per cent increase in the amount and intensity of . A one per cent increase in rainfall intensity is estimated to result in soil loss from crop lands by 1.5 per cent.
“Accelerated soil erosion is going to affect production of 27 major crops, resulting in a loss of production of 16 per cent, which is roughly about 13.4 million tonnes, with oilseeds accounting for 66 per cent,” Rathore said.
“Fall in apple yield is observed in Himachal Pradesh due to lower cold periods,” said D Raji Reddy, Director, Research at Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University.
Scientists at the Agro Climate Research Centre at Tamil Nadu Agricultural University have projected that productivity of irrigated rice is likely to drop by four per cent in the coastal areas, while maize and sorghum yields could fall up to 50 per cent in certain areas.
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