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climate change: Agriculture highly vulnerable to climate change in 20% districts: ICAR


New Delhi: Around 20% districts in the country are in a very high-risk zone in terms of vulnerability of agriculture to climate change, while another 35% come under the high-risk classification, according to a study undertaken by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

Temperatures are likely to go up by 1-1.3 degree Celsius in 256 districts and 1.3-1.6 degree in 157 districts by 2049, it said.

Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar shared this information in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

The study indicated very high risk for 109 districts spread over states such as Uttar Pradesh (22), Rajasthan (17), Bihar (10), Kerala (8), Uttarakhand (7), Odisha (6), Punjab (5), West Bengal, Karnataka, Haryana, Gujarat, Mizoram, Assam and Himachal Pradesh.

“Most of the 201 districts with ‘high’ risk are in Uttar Pradesh followed by Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Bihar, Odisha and Maharashtra, etc. These districts have to be given high priority while planning for measures for protecting agriculture and farmers from the adverse impacts of climate change,” according to the study.

Climate change causes fluctuation in production of major crops in different years, it said.

“The rain-fed rice yields in India are projected to reduce marginally, less than 2.5% in years 2050 and 2080 while irrigated rice yields are likely to be reduced by 7% in 2050 and 10% in 2080,” the study said.

Wheat yield is projected to reduce by 6-25% and maize yields by 18-23% by year 2100. The climate changes however are likely to benefit chickpea with an increase in productivity by 23-54% by 2100.

The ICAR has initiated a network project, National Innovations on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA), during 2011 to address the impact of climate change on Indian agriculture. A high-level committee comprising scientists and experts reviews the finding and recommends measures for making Indian agriculture more resilient to changing climate.

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