No immediate impact of global warming on agriculture

New Delhi: Though no immediate adverse impact of global warming is visible in India as manifested by rise in output of foodgrains and milk, experts feel the country should draw a strategy to deal with its long-term effect.

Despite increase in climatic variabilities attributed to global warming, the production of foodgrains in the country has increased from 230.77 million tonnes (mt) in 2007-08 to 244.78 mt in 2010-11, the government had informed Parliament last week.

During the same period, output of milk rose from 107.90 mt to 121.80 mt due to various advanced technological interventions across the country, it said.

Though no immediate adverse impact of global warming on agriculture is visible, experts feel the country needs to draw effective strategy to deal with its future consequences as it is a long-term phenomenon.

"Rise of 0.2 degree celsius temperature now is not a cause of worry for agriculture in the country, but there could be problem after 5-6 decades for which we need to be alert," Director General of ICAR S Ayyappan told PTI.

He said in the long-term even if agri productivity is not affected due to global warming there could be problem of pest and diseases in the crops.

Farm expert and former head of ICAR Mangala Rai said: "Long-term planning to deal with global warming when the temperature might increase by 2.5 to 3 degree Celsius is absolutely necessary."

Minister of State for Agriculture Harish Rawat had said in Parliament last week that though there is no conclusive evidence to suggest significant variations in climate change, global warming and its impact on agricultural productivity, the government has intensified implementation of various schemes to deal with the problem.

He said programmes like Macro Management of Agriculture, Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna, National Food Security Mission, National Horticulture Mission and National Mission on Micro Irrigation have been formulated to make Indian agriculture climate resilient by embedding and mainstreaming various adaptation measures.

Sources in International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics said the Hyderabad-based international farm research organisation is developing heat tolerant chickpea and ground nut to protect the crops from adverse impact of global warming.

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