Agriculture Bytes | VOL. 15, ISSUE 94, January-February 2016

Adoption of low carbon agriculture techniques

The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) is studying the impact of global warming on agriculture since 2004. Research studies indicate more erratic and intense monsoon rains/unseasonal rains and hailstorm, increasing risk of droughts and floods and rise in temperature including increased frequency of warm days. This leads to projected average reduction of yield by 6 per cent in wheat, 4-6 per cent in rice, 18 per cent in maize, 2.5 per cent in sorghum, 2 per cent in mustard and 2.5 per cent in potato. Studies also projected a fall of 6 MT wheat production with every 1°C rise in temperature. The crop yields were projected more vulnerable in Central and East India for wheat; Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan for irrigated rice, Maharashtra, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Assam for rain fed rice; Central India for mustard and Punjab, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal for potato.

ICAR undertakes comprehensive assessment of crops and traits on a regular basis as part of the ongoing programmes of its institutes for which development of high yielding varieties suitable for biotic and abiotic stresses including deficit rainfall/drought is one of the major objectives. Short duration varieties have also been released to escape or overcome the vagaries of weather condition. The Department of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare (DAC & FW) is promoting these identified/released climate resilient varieties through various on-going schemes.

The government through ICAR has initiated network project called National Innovations on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) during 2010-11. Under NICRA, climate resilient interventions are implemented by taking one representative village in each of 130 vulnerable districts. Major interventions on low carbon agriculture techniques implemented under the scheme include efficient management of natural resources, adoption of resilient agronomic practices, adoption of stress tolerant varieties, efficient management of livestock, poultry and fisheries and strengthening local institutions. The government is also addressing the issues of climate change through National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA) and promoting low carbon agriculture techniques/interventions like micro-irrigation system, development of degraded land, agro-forestry systems, organic farming including integrated nutrient management, system of rice intensification (SRI), direct seeded rice (DSR), zero tillage etc. Besides, climate resilient interventions have been embedded and mainstreamed into various programmes of the DAC & FW.

Inputs from the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare,
March 2016 

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