New Delhi, Dec 24: Climate change has emerged as a formidable challenge to sustainable agriculture as an erratic monsoon this year hit India’s farm output triggering a rise in food inflation which forced the government to take mitigation measures such as clamping down on exports.
As kharif production fell due to the freak weather, the growth rate of the country’s agriculture sector declined to a meager 1.2 per cent in the July-Sept quarter. The adverse impact has spilled into the ongoing rabi season with the total sown area declining by over three per cent with a below-normal monsoon leading to moisture deficiency in the soil and decreased water storage in reservoirs. The acreage under wheat and pulses has declined by three per cent and eight per cent respectively which has raised concern over a fall in overall food production going ahead. There is now a great concern within policymakers and the scientific community to evolve dynamic response strategies to deal with this complex phenomenon of climate change, especially since vast areas in some states are still dependent on rain-fed agriculture.