Climate-smart agriculture

The geographical location of India makes it vulnerable regarding the climate-change. The effect of climate change on agriculture and the state of soil and water with the increasing pollution poses a serious threat to Indian agriculture. The events like El Nino bring the extremes of the rainfall leading to low agricultural yield. With climate change effect the farming in the coastal areas became riskier. The incumbent problems varying form marginal landholders, poor yield and high input cost made it more complex. Therefore a need to focus on climate-smart agriculture is derived from the existing challenges.

How to build climate-smart agriculture?

The programme related to agriculture must include measures which improves productivity, farm income, minimizes the risk to climate change effect, and reduces the green house gas emission. For that there is a need to converge the already existing schemes namely the MGNREGA, Rastrya Krishi Vikas Yojana, sustainable agriculture component of NAPCC, National Food Security Mission and others.

Solar energy need to be tapped for powering the agriculture by networking the renewable grid to the agriculture. Still in India many villages are not able to exploit the vast underground reservoir because of lack of power in the region. More the gross irrigated area in the country more will be the yield of agriculture. Better irrigation facility provides farmers options to go for diverse crops including the cash crops and also the climate resistant crops. Hence for a climate-smart village solar driven motor pump should be made mandatory and assistance by the government need to be granted while installation.

Judicious use water would facilitate exploitating the resources sustainably. Micro-irrigation technique like the sprinkler and drip irrigation should be used. It would use each drop of water efficiently. The increased cost of installation of these micro-irrigation technique is the major impediments regarding scaling up its use.

Soil health card scheme needs to scale up fast, as it would provide the know-how of the soil and suggest the fertilizer required for the soil. It would reduce the mindless use of fertilizer in the fields in turn would not only reduce the subsidy bill, but will also improve the health of soil. It would culminate into restoring the nutrition to the soil which was deteriorated over the years.

The Bhoochetna programme in the state of Karnataka and the existing soil health card scheme in Gujarat are the ideal example which led a soil-test base nutrient management programme resulting into increase in yield of important crops by 25-30%.

The consumption of pulses in country is declining day by day due to demand-supply mismatch resulting into increased cases of malnutrition, anemia and other disorders. Pulses help fixing the nitrogenous fertilizer in the soil and hence reduce the demand of fertilizer for the subsequent soil thereby cutting the fertilizer subsidy.

These measures would make the agriculture resilient and more sustainable and hence improve the livelihood of farmers shielding them form the effect of climate change.

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