[Answered] Examine the impact of climate change on agricultural productivity in India and the necessity of adopting climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices.

Introduction: What is CSA?

Body: Highlight impact of climate change on agriculture productivity and necessity of CSA.

Conclusion: Way forward

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is a strategic approach aimed at directing efforts to shift agri-food systems toward practices that are both environmentally sustainable and resilient to climate change. The primary objectives of CSA include enhancing agricultural productivity and incomes sustainably, fostering adaptation to and building resilience against climate change impacts, and minimizing or eliminating greenhouse gas emissions wherever feasible

Impact of climate change on agricultural productivity

  • Variability in Rainfall Patterns: The impacts of climate change are evident in the irregular and unpredictable patterns of rainfall, disrupting the timing and distribution of precipitation. This variability has consequences for crop growth stages, ultimately resulting in diminished yields.
  • Temperature Extremes: Escalating temperatures, particularly during heatwaves, exert adverse effects on crop development, leading to decreased yields. Certain crops are sensitive to temperature fluctuations, and prolonged exposure to high temperatures can induce heat stress.
  • Water Scarcity and Droughts: Alterations in precipitation patterns contribute to instances of water scarcity and droughts. Given the heavy reliance on monsoon rains for agriculture in many regions of India, any disruption in this pattern can lead to water shortages, adversely affecting crop cultivation.
  • Rise in Pests and Diseases: Warmer temperatures and shifts in climate conditions create an environment conducive to the proliferation of pests and diseases. This presents a threat to crops, heightening their vulnerability and necessitating more intensive pest management practices.

Necessity of Adopting CSA Practices

  • Enhancing Livelihood Resilience: The primary goal of CSA is to fortify the resilience of farming communities against climate-related shocks and pressures. To enhance farmers’ adaptive capacity, CSA emphasizes the diversification of revenue sources, the promotion of alternative livelihood options, and the establishment of social safety nets.
  • Greenhouse Gas Emission Mitigation: CSA is dedicated to curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions stemming from agricultural activities. It promotes the adoption of practices that enhance carbon storage in soils, decrease emissions from animals, and optimize fertilizer use to reduce nitrous oxide emissions.
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  • Adaptation to Climate Change: CSA directs its efforts toward enhancing the resilience of agricultural systems in the face of climate change impacts. This involves implementing techniques and practices that support crops, livestock, and farmers in adjusting to evolving climatic conditions, including challenges such as droughts, floods, and heatwaves
  • Conservation and Restoration of Ecosystems: Recognizing the imperative of safeguarding and rejuvenating ecosystems for sustained agricultural viability, CSA encourages the protection of biodiversity, the restoration of degraded areas, and the integration of trees and vegetation into farming systems to enhance ecosystem processes.

Conclusion

Implementing strategies like CSA is crucial for building resilience, ensuring food security, and sustaining the livelihoods of farmers in the face of a changing climate.

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