Enhancing the Adaptive Capacity of Indian Agriculture to Climate Change: Opportunities and Constraints
Enhancing the Adaptive Capacity ofIndian Agriculture to Climate Change: Opportunities and Constraints Pramod AggarwalIndian Agricultural Research Institute New Delhi, India
Agriculture led development in India Food production increased from 65 in 1960s to 230 million tons in 2008 Land saved - more than 50 million ha Calorie intake increased from 1900 to 2500 Kcal/capita/day Poverty decreased in rural areas from 51% (in 1977) to 27% (in 2004) Human development index improved from 0.41 (in 1972) to 0.619 (in 2007-08)
And yet problems persist 1/4th of the world’s hungry 40% of the world’s malnourished children and women Lagging in meeting MDGs Given a choice, 40% farmers would like to leave farming (NSSO, 2005)
Climate change may further compoundthe situation 2020 2050 2080 Source: IPCC2007; Adapted from Krishna kumar et al. 2009
Assessing vulnerability of Indian agriculture to climatechange: Controlled environment facilities at Delhi
Climate change impacts on crop yields in India:Wheat
Climate change impacts on crop yields in India:Maize
Climate change impacts on crop yields in India:Sorghum
Climate change impacts on crop yields in India:Soybean
These impact assessmentshave uncertainties Possible errors in climate models, crop models and data used No link with change in future irrigation water availability No consideration of weather extremes Future technological developments, (e.g. in crop improvement), and socio- economic scenarios not considered
Projected impacts of climate change on Indian agriculture Increase in CO2 to 550 ppm increases yields of most C3 crops by 10-20%. A 1oC increase in temperature may reduce yields of many crops by 0-7%. Much higher losses at higher temperatures. Productivity of most crops to decrease only marginally/remain unaffected by 2020 but decrease by 10-40% by 2100. Possibly some improvement in yields of chickpea, winter maize, sorghum and millets. Less loss in potato, mustard and vegetables in north-western India due to reduced frost damage.
Climate change may also provide new opportunities Apple yields in Himachal have decreased due to inadequate chilling Apple cultivation shifted upwards Farmers changed to vegetables earning more income New varieties with lesser chilling requirement being introduced
Adapting agriculture to climate change:Setting goals of adaptation• Indian national agricultural policy aims a: • Growth rate of 4% per annum • Growth based on efficiency and conservation of resources • Growth that is inclusive and equitable• Goals of adaptation • Producing more (diversified) food to meet demand • Stabilizing production in climate stressed seasons • Raising input use efficiency to address the increasing competition for land, water, capital, and labour settlements • Greater focus on poor
Adapting to climate change by raising crop production:Large yield gaps in crops provide an opportunity Biological potential yield Yield gap2: Limited by climate, soil, and irrigation Demand Biophysical 2020 Yield gap1: Limited by potential yield crop management, pests, and risk management approaches Current yield
Agronomic options can meet goals ofadaptation in short-term
Adaptation/mitigation options may not always beeconomically viable: Example of N use efficiency in rice Cost of one kg N in urea Pathak, H. (2010) Nutr. Cycling Agro-ecosystem.
National Food Security MissionAims to bridge yield gaps Launched in 2007 in 311 districts to raise production by 20 million tons: Better seeds Assured inputs- nutrients, irrigation, machinery Farmers training Demos
Climate change may limit the potentialadaptation window of current technologies
Managing current and future short-term climatic risks is crucial 70% of land under cultivation prone to drought 12% of land (40 million hectares) to floods 8% of land (8,000 km coastline) to cyclones A major disaster occurs every 2-3 years 30 million people affected annuallySource: Ministry of Agriculture, GOI: BMTPC, Ministry of Urban Development, GOI
Short periods of drought can cause largeyield losses: Sorghum in Rajasthan
Adaptation to increasing climatic risks: Assisting farmers to cope with current climatic risks Providing value-added weather services Weak weather infrastructure; data protocols, storage, access and dissemination Promoting insurance for climatic risk management scientific and economically validated schemes; weather derivatives; awareness Facilitating community partnership in food, forage and seed banks Technical know-how; capital costs; reduced acceptance if successive years are risk free Compensating farmers for environmental services Technical know-how; costs of production go up Sharing experiences across similar regions Validation in new scenarios of development and climate risks
Policy responses have consistently evolvedwith successive drought events Drought Events 1877 1965 1972 1979 1987 2002 2009 Major Policy Famine Green Employ Contingency Watershed Improved weather Codes Revolution ment Crop Approach forecasts and their Interventions and FCI GenerationPlan applications Programmes Scarcity Drought Drought Water Knowledge relief relief management management management Each round represent Each round represent around death of one million fifty million people affected Source: ADPC/MOA people
Drought early warning and responsesystem has been conceptualized RAINFALL MONITORING RESERVOIR WATER BUDGETING CENTRALRE STATE FOOD / NUTRITION SECURITYS NATIONALE CROPR WEATHER DISTRICT EMPLOYMENT GENERATIONV WATCHO GROUPI SUB-DISTRICT DRINKING WATERR CROP MONITORING VILLAGE CATTLE CARE Early Warning Response Programs Source: MOA
Despite such policy responses, climatic risks still cause considerable loss Poverty (2005) Human capitalKey reasons Population at $2/day or less literacy rate Widespread poverty Limited human capital Poor governance including limited stakeholder analysis, and dissemination Green 1-10, Yellow 11-50, Red > 50 of knowledge
Conclusions1. Large yield gaps in all crops is an opportunity for meeting food demand in future even in the face of increasing climatic risks.2. In short-term, several options relating to technology transfer and adoption can help improve adaptive capacity. Later, better adapted genotypes will be needed.3. Climate change may provide new opportunities for growing crops in regions/periods not considered suitable earlier. Need to manage them.4. Problems related to poverty, governance, institutions, and human capital limit agriculture growth today and can also limit adaptation to increasing climatic risks.
Some observations on the proposed Mega Program on climate change Clear identification of stakeholders: Farmers Policy Planners Industry (e.g. insurance, carbon markets) Stakeholders interest in adaptive capacity: Understanding vulnerabilities of the region Overall enhancement of adaptive capacity (not agriculture alone) Short-term action plans Integrated, region specific solutions; and not by themes.
Some observations on the proposed Mega Program on climate change New partnerships are required: Other science departments (earth sciences, e.g.) Development departments (e.g. irrigation and disaster management agencies) Industry (e.g. insurance, carbon marketing) Cooperatives (e.g. for food, seed and feed banks)
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