Friday, August 12, 2022

Climate Change Mitigation

By The Editorial Team Updated: Apr 19, 2022 11:45 pm

The government of Nagaland declared a ‘drought of moderate nature’ in the entire state last year in view of distress faced by the farmers, due to poor crop yield caused by rainfall deficiency. The official declaration was made after a drought-like situation was witnessed in several parts of the state. The state’s Agriculture department initiated mitigating measures like distribution of seeds and planting materials for re-sowing in affected jhum fields, which was commendable. Will the state receive enough rain this year? Well, the Indian Meteorological Department has forecast a ‘normal’ monsoon for this year but rain distribution can be lopsided like in the past wherein most north-eastern states witnessed rainfall deficiency while many states received excess rainfall. Moreover, we will see a clearer picture only when the monsoon is about to set in about a month from now. One thing farmers in the state should brace themselves for is a possible repeat of delayed monsoons, which affected their crop yield last year. A delayed monsoon withdrawal didn’t help the farmers as it was too late to cultivate many suitable crops. The change in availability of water due to altered precipitation is affecting farmers across the globe and impacting ecosystems as well. Experts have predicted frequent and severe floods and droughts, more devastating wildfires, decline in crop and livestock productivity, shift in habitats, etc. due to altered precipitation patterns. This trend is giving a huge blow to state government’s efforts towards achieving food self-sufficiency and better economic returns, especially through organic farming. So, it is pertinent for farmers to adapt to changes, including shifting from traditional to profitable farming.

The need for reducing the impact of altered precipitation and building resilience against droughts and floods is more pronounced than ever before, as climate change is anticipated to worsen. Governments should have drought policies and mitigation plans in place as such calamities not only kill crops but livestock as well, thus affecting the lives of the people. While drought monitoring and early warning systems can reduce distress considerably, practical mitigation measures after assessing local environment is necessary to enhance resilience to drought. The traditional approach of responding to extreme weather is not viable anymore, so measures like rainwater harvesting, developing new water sources, shifting to drought-tolerant crops and planting of trees. Rainfall deficiency can also be compensated by constructing water reservoirs and dams, building watersheds and accessing underground water. In a nutshell, collective community effort and participation is vital to effectively deal with external forces like extreme weather that affect agriculture produce. Governments also should have contingency plans for farmers. Co-ordinated action from the authorities and the public can create a positive ripple effect.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Apr 19, 2022 11:45:50 pm