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Impact of climate change on Indian agriculture: a review

During the recent decade, with the growing recognition of the possibility of climate change and clear evidence of observed changes in climate during 20th century, an increasing emphasis on food security and its regional impacts has come to forefront of the scientific community. In recent times, the crop simulation models have been used extensively to study the impact of climate change on agricultural production and food security. The output provided by the simulation models can be used to make appropriate crop management decisions and to provide farmers and others with alternative options for their farming system. It is expected that in the coming decades with the increased use of computers, the use of simulation models by farmers and professionals as well as policy and decision makers will increase.

In India, substantial work has been done in the last decade aimed at understanding the nature and magnitude of change in yield of different crops due to projected climate change. This paper presents an overview of the state of the knowledge of possible effect of the climate variability and change on food grain production in India.

The study finds that it is very difficult, at this point, to convince the planner and development agencies in India to incorporate the impact of climate change into their projects and agricultural system. However, 60% of the total cropped area is still rainfed in India and dependent on uncertainties of monsoon. The country’s food grains production during 2002–03 had slumped to 174.19 Mt, due to widespread drought, from the record level of 212.02 Mt in 2001–02. Which shows the dependency of Indian agriculture on climate in spite of recent technological development. Therefore, given the potential adverse impacts on agriculture
that could bring about by climate change, it is worthwhile to conduct more in-depth studies and analyses to gauge the extent of problems that the country may face in the future.