According to the United Nations, Climate Change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. It can be natural, but certain human activities are more likely to contribute to it, mainly the burning of fossil fuels like coal, gas, or petroleum oil. The burning of these fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases that act like a blanket around the Earth, thus trapping the heat from the Sun and raising the temperature of the Earth. The burning of fossil fuels is not only responsible for the emission of greenhouse gases, but the transport industry, buildings, the energy sector, landfills for garbage and agriculture are the main emitters.
Effects Of Climate Change On Agriculture
The economy of our country is agriculture based and climate change is affecting the agriculture severely .Generally, the increase in the concentration of CO2 and the temperature of the environment around the plants increases the rate of photosynthesis in plants. But after a certain limit, the higher temperature has the opposite effect as it reduces yields of crops while encouraging weed and pest population in the field. There are also changes in the pattern of precipitation that have led to crop failures and ultimately affected the incomes of farmers. Moreover, since India’s agriculture is rain-based and the economy is also based on agriculture, the economy is severely affected by the agriculture sector.
Heat waves are also more likely to be frequent in the future, which is a major setback for agriculture, especially traditional agriculture. These waves are responsible for stress in both plants and animals and have negative effects on food production. There’s also very little chance of crop adaptation to future climate changes, which will result in crop failure and yield losses. Higher temperatures lead to an increase in the insect population and infestation, and they serve as vectors for carrying disease-causing microorganisms, ultimately leading to crop failure and yield losses.
Ways To Mitigate The Effects Of Climate Change On Agriculture
There are various methods and ways through which farmers can use them at their own level to mitigate the effects of climate change on agriculture. They are mentioned below.
1.) Efficient Water Or Irrigation Management:
Water is a basic requirement for all life forms on Earth so for the agriculture. Farmers should focus more on a sustainable agriculture approach to irrigation management for their crops so that future water scarcity will not affect their farming activities in the future. Water conservation methods such as drip irrigation, cover crop planting, dry farming, and others should be used effectively.
2.) Utilization Of Non-Petroleum-Based Products And Renewable Energy Sources:
Farms should focus more on the use of renewable sources of energy for operating farming operations by installing solar panels and wind mills. The use of petroleum based agriculture products should be avoided. The concepts of farm waste management should also be followed to achieve the goal of sustainable agriculture. Organic manures, pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides should be used in place of inorganic products that deteriorate the soil’s health.
3.) Growing Suitable Cultivars:
Farmers should prioritise crops that are resistant to high temperatures, drought, and environmental stress to reduce crop failure and yield losses.
4.) IFS (Integrated Farming System):
Instead of focusing on only one type of agriculture activity on the farm, farmers should adopt other systems like livestock, fisheries, and crop cultivation. In this way, the loss due to crop failure can also be minimised by the earnings of other farming systems. Moreover, this integrated approach also has fewer harmful effects on the environment and is a sustainable way of farming.
5.) Rehabilitation of Degraded Lands:
The main problem that is now arising for agriculture is land degradation. There’s an increase in the desertification of land and these land areas should be rehabilitated in order to improve soil health and biodiversity. This can be done by planting native grasses and forage on these lands, which will also help in the formation of pasture lands.
6.) Supporting Local Food Products, Farmers’ and Local Markets:
Transportation of agricultural products is one of the major causes responsible for the transmission of green house gases. And due to this there’s a high need for supporting and purchasing local food products and crops. In this way, you can support local farmers and also minimise the emission of green house gases at your own level.