Agri Business

Climate change affecting crop yield: Icrisat

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on August 16, 2011 Published on August 16, 2011

Climate change afffecting crop yield.

Farmers of Andhra Pradesh district report losses in yield, which the research institute attributes to shortening of crop cycle.

Mr Narayana, a farmer from Miryalaguda in Nalgonda district, has been witnessing low yields in cotton, paddy and sweet orange in the last few years. “I have seen intense rainfall in a week and dry spells for weeks, damaging the crop. Temperature is increasing and rainfall coming down,” he said.

Little did he know that this is all happening because of climate change. He is not alone in not knowing the adverse impact of climate change on crop yields.

A recent study by International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) found that crop yields in crops such as maize and sorghum in Nalgonda (Andhra Pradesh) and Parbani (Maharashtra) have fallen in the last few years as a result of increase in temperature.

Crop cycle has been reduced by at least 10 days. (If a crop is grown in 120 days, it means that it requires moisture certain amount of moisture to support the crop through the season.)

“When this is reduced by 10 days, which happened in the case of Nalgonda, it means that the crop is starved of moisture during that period. This will result in yield losses. But the problem is they (farmers) are now aware,” Dr S P Wani, Principal Scientist (Watersheds), ICRISAT said.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, he said three out of the last five years had failed farmers in Nalgonda. One quick answer for this could be deployment of short duration crops to capture required moisture. Dr William Dar, Director-General of ICRISAT (International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics), said the district had turned arid from the semi-arid status over a period of time.

Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has launched a study in 100 of the most vulnerable districts to analyse and equip at least 1,000 farmers in each district with necessary tools to cope with climate change impact. “We will add 100 more districts by March 31, 2012,” Dr A K Singh, Deputy Director-General (natural resources management) of ICAR, said.

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Published on August 16, 2011
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