Thursday, June 20, 2024

Impacts of Climate Change on Agriculture and the Way Forward

By Ghulam Muhammad Qamar ud Din

Department of Plant Pathology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad

Climate change is an issue of great consideration. It should be addressed on the foremost priority. Although it is an international issue, Pakistan is considered as the most vulnerable country throughout the world. According to the statistical bureau of Pakistan, Pakistan is among top ten countries affected by climate change. It has vast impacts on the production of agriculture directly or indirectly. As for as the concern is for direct impacts, a shift in climate has affected the production of major crops such as wheat, rice, cotton and sugarcane due to the increase in temperature. Our conservative farmers consistently attach to their conventional cultivation methods such as selection of crops in rotation, date of sowing, the method of irrigation and other agronomic management practices. On contrary to this, in indirect impacts, it badly affected the regulation of water. In summer it causes the melting of the glacier because of high temperature and resultantly flooding. The live example in Pakistan is the flood of 2010. In this flood, 1,645 people lost their lives in flash flood streams, more than 2,479 were injured and many others were reported to missing after the flood.  It affected the 62,000 square miles of land that was about one-fifth of Pakistan’s whole area. These are the losses of the flood in addition to the destruction of infrastructure.  On the other hand, we have fewer dams to store water or control the stream flows. Moreover, severe water scarcity is observed during Rabi season and at the start of Kharif, when major cash crops cotton and rice are planted. If this condition will prevail for a long time, there would no water in our rivers and canals to irrigates our crops. From the last few years, the yield of current Kharif crop (cotton) has declined due to change in patterns of the insect attack, that might have also been favored due to the environment shift. Therefore, it is the need of the hour that it should be addressed properly. This is fortunate for Pakistan that it is a member of Paris agreement, millennium development goals, and sustainable development goals. But this is not enough to be the part of the above-mentioned forum. The government should take some practical steps to tackle the situation that is worsening day by day. Followings are the major steps that are helpful to counter the impact of climate change.

  • Our federal government should increase the budget for climate change. The current budget is 802.79 million that is comparatively less as compared to the developed countries.
  • Targets should be given by the federal government to the provincial governments.
  • The government should undertake the voluntary actions and reduce emission through National Determined Contribution (NDC).
  • New courses should be introduced from primary level to graduation.
  • Media should create awareness among the masses.
  • Develop disaster risk management program in Pakistan with the help of united nations.
  • Increase forestation to curtail the effects of high temperature. It should be the part of our national policy.
Dr. Mujahid Ali
Dr. Mujahid Ali
I am working as Assistant Horticulturist (BS-18) at Water Management Research Farm Renala Khurd, before this served as Assistant Professor (IPFP) in Horticulture at the University of Sargodha. I have completed my Ph.D. in 2018 from the Institute of Horticultural Sciences, UAF previously worked as Visiting Lecturer in Horticulture UOS, worked as Research Fellow in ACIAR project on vegetables, and worked as Teaching Assistant in Horticulture UAF. Moreover, Ph.D. IRSIP did in the NC State University, United States.

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