NEW DELHI || Climate change and rainfall. Variability is hitting the agriculture sector big time in India, according to the government of India. Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar in Rajya Sabha on Friday admitted that the agriculture sector in India was vulnerable to climate change and that higher temperatures tend to reduce crop yields and favor weed and pest proliferation.
Climate change can have negative effects on irrigated crop yields across agro-ecological regions both due to temperature rise and changes in water availability, the minister said while lamenting on how. rain-fed agriculture will be primarily impacted due to rainfall variability and reduction in the number of rainy days.
Analysis of impact of climate change under National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) project has found that climate change is expected to affect yields, particularly in crops like rice, wheat, and maize, he informed the Upper House lawmakers.
Adding that the Government of India has initiated various actions to mitigate the effects of climate change, the minister further stated that varieties and cultivars tolerant to abiotic stresses were being developed under the strategic research component of NICRA.
The technology demonstrations aim at enhancing the adaptive capacity of the farmers and also to cope with climate variability in the vulnerable districts to achieve climate-resilient agriculture. Under NICRA, climate-resilient technology demonstrations are implemented in 151 climatically vulnerable districts of the country, it was further informed.
District Agriculture Contingency Plans have been prepared by ICAR-CRIDA, Hyderabad for 648 districts in the country to address the adverse weather conditions, Tomar said further in his written reply to a pointed query.