This article was of particular interest to me as this is the second time in this week that I have read about the effects of climate change on crops. Also, this article reminds me of what I have experienced in my hometown. I come from a small town in India where the agriculture is a predominant industry. Growing up, I have seen the changes in farming as well as in the farmers. Any change in the agriculture has a major effect on the country’s economy. The following are the changes that I have observed in last 15 years.
Change in crops production: The region I grew up is hard hit by this climate changes. The farmers in my region do not grow rice anymore as they did 10-12 years ago. In last the 10 years, my region has suffered from lack of rains almost every year. Framers had to incur major loses because they could not produce what they intended to. Slowly, farmers have adopted to these changes in climate and have started growing crops such as cotton which need less water.
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Though these crops will to be as profitable as rice, farmers are willing to make this trade off. Financial effect of high yielding varieties: It as predicted in my state too that the usage of high yielding crops would balance the decrease in crop yield. Unfortunately, the problem is much more than Just decrease in crop yield. Farmers have incurred severe financial loses in the past few years and are in serious debt. Buying high yield varieties would be more expensive than the normal varieties.
In spite of Government evoking many financial assistance programs, farmers have not been able to afford these varieties. Instead farmers have chosen to produce the crops that can be less financial strain on them Effect on the state’s and country’s economy: As already mentioned, agriculture is predominant industry in India. In 2013, India produced less rice than in 2012 and this decrease in expected to continue. The effect of this decrease is twofold. Firstly, prices of rice will increase substantially, making it difficult for the poor to afford rice.
Secondly, the export of rice would decrease leading to decreased export income for the country. Thus, there is a considerable effect on Indian’s GAP. In 2006, scientists in my state have tried for artificial rains called “Meghan Madman”, though it could cause some rains, it was sufficient to support the agriculture. Nonetheless, this proves that scientists can device technologies which could help farmers counter these climate changes. I wish more of such technologies come into existence.