ENVIRONMENT/ ECONOMY/ GOVERNANCE
- GS-3: Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation
- GS-3: Indian Economy and its challenges
- GS-2: Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation
Agriculture and Climate Adaptation
IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) on climate change has delivered a wake up-call to narrow the widening “adaptation gap” and build resilience against “unfamiliar” climates.
Climate Change and Indian Agriculture
- Climate change already has evident effects on crop production & productivity with increasing frequency & severity of extreme weather events & unpredictable rainfall.
- This eventually leads to local food supply disruptions and negative impacts on rural incomes and poverty.
- Climate Change adversely impacts on availability and prices of food, exacerbating undernourishment in the country.
- As nearly 86% of Indian agriculture is small-holder agriculture and a significant part of it is subsistence agriculture adaptation to climate change is an issue of survival.
- Any response to climate change has the challenge of ensuring adequate food supply while at the same time conserving natural resources and ecosystems.
- Development plans in the agriculture sector focussing on soil and water management, crop diversification, cropping system optimisation, risk sharing (co-investment, community engagement), risk transfer (crop/livestock insurance), and improved localised forecasting and agro-advisory is required to optimise mitigation benefits.
- Also, it is essential to design policies and strategies especially focussing on small and marginal landholders.
- Agriculture being a State subject under the Indian Constitution, State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC) need to be developed that is in sync with SDGs.
- It is also equally important to periodically review, update and integrate the agriculture, forestry and land use component in the SAPCCs.
- Adaptation measures pertaining to impact of natural disasters in agriculture and allied sectors need to be embedded in the disaster management plans prepared by district administration.
- Along with development of adaptive crop varieties, it is important to provide the supporting infrastructure including water supply, power and physical connectivity on which agricultural value chain depends.
- The financial needs of adaptation in India (2015–2030) in key climate sensitive sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and water resources is estimated at $206 billion (at 2014–2015 prices). Therefore, large and continued financial investment from government & private sector is required towards this purpose.
A pro-active adaptation approach in agriculture is needed, streamlining efforts and resources on climate and disaster resilience to reduce risk exposure, limiting impacts, and preparedness in coping with disasters.
Connecting the dots: