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Climate Change and Indian Agriculture: Current Focus and Future Priorities

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  1. Climate Change and Indian Agriculture: Current Focus and Future Priorities P.K. Aggarwal Indian Agricultural Research Institute New Delhi, India

  2. Climate and Indian Agriculture • Indian agriculture is considerably dependant on changes in weather • Contribution of agriculture to GDP is decreasing, yet large population dependent on this for livelihoods • Need to understand the impacts of increasing climatic risks and possible adaptations

  3. Approach: Experiments & modelling Models of food production

  4. InfoCrop: A User-friendly Crop Modelling System • Model responds to change in: • Environment: Radiation, temperature, CO2, rainfall, wind speed, vapor pressure, flooding, frost • Soil • Variety • Agronomic Management • Pests population • Has been validated for rice, wheat, maize, sorghum, cotton, potato, groundnut, soybean, mustard in different agro-climatic regions

  5. Simulated Impact of Global Climate Change on Wheat Yields in North India

  6. Simulated Impact of Global Climate Change Scenarios on Wheat Yields in North India 2080 2050 2020

  7. Impact of Climate Change on Food Supply

  8. Impact of Climate Change on Food Production Demand Supply

  9. Impact of Climate Change on Food Production

  10. Impact of Climate Change on Food Production

  11. Agro-Ecological Regions

  12. Validation of InfoCrop for wheat producing states Another validation with the parent model-WTGROWS- using FACE experiment at USA- showed good agreement with field observations

  13. Regional climate change scenarios • PRECIS: A2 scenario • Daily values for 2070-2099 period

  14. Total number of frost days at Delhi for observed and baseline scenario

  15. Total number of rainy days at Delhi for observed and baseline scenario

  16. % Change in yield 05-10 00-05 -05-00 -05-10 -10-20 -20-40 >-40 Impact of climate change on wheat yields in a pessimistic technology scenario HaDCM3-2020

  17. 2020 2050 % Change in yield 05-10 00-05 -05-00 -05-10 -10-20 -20-40 >-40 Impact of climate change on wheat yields in a pessimistic technology scenario HaDCM3 scenarios

  18. 2020 2050 % Change in yield 05-10 00-05 -05-00 -05-10 -10-20 -20-40 >-40 Impact of climate change on wheat yields in a paradise technology scenario HaDCM3 scenarios

  19. Declining Response of Wheat to Improved Management in Global Warming Scenarios

  20. Tmin, C 25 20 25 15 Yield (Mg ha-1) Radiation (MJ m-2 d-1) 23 10 21 5 Min Temp. (°C) 19 0 1985 1990 1995 2000 17 Year 15 1985 1990 1995 2000 Year Relation of Recent Weather Trends with Yields of Paddy and Wheat Decline in yield is apparently also related to decrease in radiation and increase in minimum temperature

  21. Evidences in Recent Past: Estimated impact of heat wave in March 2004 on wheat production • Increased heat: + 5-8 oC in north and central India from 5th March to 28th March, 2004 • Caused a loss of 4.5 million tons of wheat

  22. Estimated impact of heat wave in March 2004 on wheat production

  23. Adaptation in agriculture is a continuous process • Agriculture diversity is a manifestation of climatic adaptation • Farmers/society have always adapted when allowed by technology availability, their socio-economic capacity, and economics. • Induced adaptation by innovation: • Green revolution of 1960s • Resource conservation technologies such as zero tillage • GMOs

  24. Traditional adaptations/coping strategies to climatic stress practiced by farmers • Drought proofing by mixed cropping • Low yielding, tolerant crops • Resource conservation • Single cropping • Frost management by irrigation • Heat stress alleviation by frequent irrigation • Shelter belts

  25. Adaptation options to climatic change: autonomous • Changing varieties/crops • altering fertiliser rates to maintain grain or fruit quality and be more suited to the prevailing climate, • altering amounts and timing of irrigation • ‘harvest’ water • conserve soil moisture (e.g. crop residue retention) • use water more effectively • altering the timing or location of cropping activities • diversifying income including livestock raising

  26. Scope of autonomous adaptations in wheat in north India in different scenarios

  27. Constraints in autonomous adaptations • Availability at desired time • Fields for desired activity • Extension services for management of adapted variety, if different • Seeds of adapted varieties • Irrigation water, fertilizer and machinery • Costs of adaptation- unknown

  28. Adaptation options to climatic change: Planned • Investments in adaptation research capacity • Improved communication of climate changes and options to adapt to them • Investments in infrastructure for water management and for product transportation and marketing • Changes in policies and institutions, e.g. incentives for resource conservation and use efficiency • Credit for transition to adaptation technologies • Relocation to more productive areas • Creating alternate livelihood options and reducing dependence on agriculture • Greater insurance coverage for the farm

  29. Conclusions

  30. Increasing demands for food Reducing/stagnating crop yields: fatigue of intensive agriculture and climate change Reducing availability of natural resources for agriculture Need for increased resources: land, water, fertilizers, capital Need to preserve environment Greater environmental impact of agriculture Future priorities: Complex future agriculture scenario

  31. Agriculture in an Uncertain Future: Need for Integrated Action • Assess vulnerability of agriculture to global climate change in a changing global scenario (demands, markets, technologies, natural resources) • Develop research infrastructure for assessment of direct impacts- FACE, FATE • Develop models for integrated assessment • Need to link ‘sectoral’ research- scenarios of climate change- water resources – agriculture and other sectors- policy -feedbacks • Identify research/technology/policy options for short-term • Focus on ‘no-regrets’ options

  32. Indian National Network Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability of Indian Agriculture to Climatic ChangeInvolves 16 research institutes, >60 scientists

  33. Specific Information Needs • Impact on food (crops, milk, fish) demand and supply- spatial and temporal differences • Impact on nutrition – cereals, legumes, oil crops • Impact on commercial crops (quality and quantity)- spices, tea, coffee, medicinal plants • Impact on trade – internal and external • Impact on natural resources- soil, water and air • Impact on farmer’s livelihood • Options to enhance adaptive capacity - farmer level, regional differences, government level • Potential of agricultural land as carbon sink • Policy implications: link with current development plans

  34. Information Needs on Vulnerability of Agricultural Sector • Can we remain self-sufficient in food despite global climatic changes, urbanization and trade liberalization? • Which regions and the social groups are more vulnerable to climatic change? • How will enhanced climatic risks affect livelihoods of resource-poor farmers- hill, coastal, tribals? • How should different farmers adapt to cope with climate change ? (in the background of changing scenario of demand and markets)

  35. Mitigation of Climatic Change/ Feedbacks on Environment : Information Needs • Can alternate land use systems such as plantations and agroforestry increase carbon sequestration and yet meet food demand? • How much area can be taken out from agriculture for forestry; where and what policy measures would be needed? • How much carbon is conserved by limited tillage options? For how long ? • What is the potential of biofuels for carbon mitigation; what policies and technologies would ensure their adoption by farming community?

  36. Need for research infrastructure