Government keen to make agriculture climate resilient

New Delhi, April 13 (IANS) The government is making all efforts to make the agriculture climate resilient but there is still a lot more to be done, Agriculture Secretary Shobhana K. Pattanayak said on Wednesday.

Inaugurating a workshop organised by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), he said the government was giving adequate emphasis to make agriculture sustainable through effective agronomic management.

The soil health and water resources were being catered to effectively, he said.

A recent study indicates the possibility of loss of 4-5 million tonnes in wheat production every year with every rise of 1 degree centigrade temperature throughout the growing period.

Losses for other crops are still to be ascertained but are expected to be smaller, especially for crops grown during monsoon season, he said.

To minimize the impact of climate variables, the government has developed contingency crop plans based on models on projected climate conditions for about 600 districts, taking into account 126 agro-ecological zones of the country, Pattanayak said.

The official said the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Bima Yojana (PMKBY) had been made operational to address the concerns of farmers due to crop damage and extreme climates.

On the prediction of a favourable monsoon, he said: “The forecast is a welcome development for us because we all know that there has been a shortfall of rainfall in the last two seasons.

“Most mini parts of the country, especially 10 states, are having drought like conditions. So the prediction of the normal monsoon is very good news because our khariff will go on in full swing.”

Jonathan Addleton, Mission Director, USAID in India, said “lack of reliable climate information at local level is one of the primary challenges that affect decision-making at the farm level.

“There is a critical need to improve access to good scientific data and a comprehensive approach to utilizing this data.”

The India-US strategic partnership was a significant contributor to regional and global stability, he added.

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