March 1, 2024

Lukmaan IAS

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IMPACT OF CLIMATE VARIABILITY ON CROP YIELD AND WATER SECURITY IN INDIA

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TAG: GS 3: ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT

THE CONTEXT: A recent study, published in the International Journal of Water Resources Development, delves into the intricate relationship between climate variability and its effects on crop yield in India.

EXPLANATION:

  • The study offers critical insights into the challenges faced by the agricultural sector, particularly concerning water risks.
  • Here, we will explore the nuanced findings and their implications for informed policy decisions.

Climate Variability and Crop Yield Analysis

  • Seasonal Impact on Crop Yield:
    • The study highlights the significant influence of climate variables like rainfall, evapotranspiration, temperature, and windspeed across different seasons on crop yields.
    • Each crop exhibits varying degrees of sensitivity to these climate elements, impacting both the expected yield and yield variability.
  • Crop-Specific Responses:
    • Crops such as bajra, chickpea, groundnut, rice, and sugarcane demonstrate unique relationships with climate variables.
    • For instance, the optimal levels of rainfall and temperature vary for different crops, influencing their yields positively or negatively.
  • Risk Assessment and Water Elements:
    • Extremes in rainfall, temperature, evapotranspiration, and windspeed are associated with increased yield risks for specific crops.
    • Moreover, the study identifies how low or high values of these climatic factors affect crop yield variability.

Water Management Implications and Policy Considerations

  • Water Availability and Crop Production:
    • Changes in water availability due to climate variations significantly impact crop production.
    • To mitigate adverse effects, the study suggests strategies such as diverting surplus water for storage to meet higher water demands during dry seasons.
  • Addressing Extreme Climate Events:
    • Flooding and droughts caused by extreme rainfall and temperature pose challenges.
    • Effective drainage systems and reallocation of water to crops benefiting from irrigation expansion or tolerant to extremes are recommended for better water management.
  • Adaptive Strategies:
    • The study emphasizes the need for seasonal adaptations and crop-specific measures to sustain long-term water availability.
    • It suggests identifying high-tolerant crops and optimizing irrigation diversification based on climate effects.

Policy Implications and Future Directions

  • Enhancing Water Management Policies:
    • Policy re-evaluation is essential to address the impact of climate change on farm water management.
    • Decision-makers need to consider strategies like predictive techniques, diversification of irrigation, and climate-smart agriculture for sustainable outcomes.
  • Incorporating Scientific Techniques:
    • Implementing modern irrigation techniques and utilizing rainwater effectively can alleviate pressure on groundwater resources.
    • Precision farming, scientific water management, and climate-smart agricultural practices are advocated for resilient crop production.
  • Inclusive Governance and Farmer Participation:
    • Encouraging farmer involvement in water management and aligning policies with region-specific sustainable agricultural practices can yield efficient, equitable, and economically viable outcomes.

Conclusion

  • Understanding the intricate effects of climate variability on crop yield and water security is paramount for reevaluating agricultural policies in India.
  • This study underscores the need for adaptive strategies, scientific water management, and climate-resilient agriculture to mitigate risks associated with climate change.
  • Policy interventions that prioritize sustainable water use and empower local governance can pave the way for resilient agricultural practices and long-term food security in India.

SOURCE: https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/agriculture/understanding-climate-effect-on-crop-yield-and-associated-risks-to-water-security-in-india-is-crucial-93393

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