Climate Change and Agriculture জলবায়ুৰ পৰিৱৰ্ত্তন আৰু কৃষি

~ Shivangee Acharya

“Everything waits but not Agriculture”

Jawaharlal Nehru.
But what if it HAS to wait?
But what if it ACTUALLY stops?
Doesn’t seem like a possible consequence of our present annihilating activities in the name of a “safe and sound” lifestyle, does it?
Sadly, and alarmingly, it is.

With the winters arriving late and the nights getting colder, with the days growing hotter and the summers staying longer, isn’t it obvious, that our Earth is changing. The rainforests are shrinking in, the rivers are swelling up, the concrete horizon is increasing, but, what isn’t increasing is our concern. What isn’t changing is our mind which is in complete denial of the upcoming crisis.
Dr. Sam Myers, a medical doctor and Senior research scientist studying environmental health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has been conducting research on crop growth and development and how they are affected by changing environmental elements. According to him, climate change pose threat to agricultural crop production in 3 major aspects:
Food quality. Location. Food quantity.
According to Dr. Myers, the yield of crops will decrease dramatically over the next 50 years. Initially, some experts opted that an increase in the degree of CO2 concentration will increase the mass production of crops, especially cereals, bur Dr. Myers and his group of experts say, that it won’t. On the contrary, it will pull down the productivity.
The major tropical countries lying around the Equatorial belt will be affected first and with force. Rice, wheat, maize and other important staple crops will be hit by climate change, reducing the yield by many folds.
Pests and diseases will reach out to areas where they weren’t prevalent before.
In a nutshell, humans will starve.
The quality of food will also diminish. The majority of the world’s population is already suffering from Zn and Fe deficiency. With the climate changing and the degree of CO2 concentration increasing, the food crops will also lack in protein and essential amino acids. Crops grown in regions with high atmospheric CO2 will lack in nutrition. Fishes are already moving towards the colder regions of the world. So, the complete picture brought together, we can say that the tropical regions will suffer most.
With the exponentially increasing human population, the news of the quality and quantity of food diminishing, when it actually should have increased, isn’t a sign of a prospering civilization.
Barring climate change isn’t oy about planting trees and saving ourselves. It’s about the process. It’s about trying to grow healthy food so that mankind can thrive on the face of Earth.
Thus, everything wraps around one single word- “Sustainability”.

********************************************S~Shivangee Acharya, Collage of Agriculture, Assam Agriculture University, Jorhat.

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