How does Weather and Climate affect the Agricultural Productivity in India

In India, average food consumption at present is 550 g per capita per day. With the growing population, the imminent challenge is to increase food production in order to feed the population that will reach 1.30 Billion by the year 2020. Farmers will have to produce 50% of more grains to meet the current growing demand.

India has experienced 23 large scale droughts starting from 1891 to 2009. The frequency of droughts is only expected to increase in the coming years. Weather and climate plays a key role in the success of any agricultural crop yield. Changes in temperature, precipitation, Co2 emission etc has a direct impact in the quality and quantity of the produce. Water, the most critical agricultural input in India is scarce. Nearly 55% of the total cultivated areas in our country do not have irrigation facilities. With the increase in global warming, the longevity of heat waves across India is all set to increase with warmer night temperatures. The days are getting hotter and this trend is only expected to continue.

17% of the world population is in India but we only have 4% of the water resources. With every 1 degree rise in temperature, wheat yields are predicted to fall by 5-10% . India could experience a 40% decline in in it’s agricultural productivity by the year 2080. Climate change is posing a massive threat to agriculture and food security in India

Agricultural productivity is dependent on Co2, Temperature, Solar Radiation, Precipitation, Soil Moisture and Wind Direction.

Changes in any or all of these elements has a direct impact on the crop production. So how does change in climate affect crop productivity?

Excessive rain, Untimely rain, Scanty rains with lengthy dry spells, Heat and Cold waves, Storm, High wind and Floods are some of the factors to consider .

Effect of Climate on Crop Production

Rainfall

Farmers are dependent on the monsoon that originates from the Indian and Arabian Sea. When the climate changes, the rainfall cycle, magnitude and the timing of rainfall is altered leaving the farmers unprepared for the change. When the temperature is warm, the water is held in the form of moisture. In arid regions, soil moisture gets evaporated fast leaving less water for crop production. The groundwater level in various areas are also affected with the change in climate.

Winds

Wind travels in horizontal motion from a high-pressure area to a low-pressure area. With the variations in temperature and shift in solar radiation, air from high-pressure areas rushes to the low-pressure areas causing horizontal movement of wind. When  growing plants are exposed to hot wind, it results in dwarfing due to the desiccation of plant tissue. Wind also increases the crop water requirement due to evapotranspiration and therefore an increased need for irrigation.

Carbon Dioxide

Agricultural productivity will also be affected due to increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Increase in CO2 will increase temperatures throughout the Earth. Plants will need extra water both to maintain their larger growth as well as to compensate for greater moisture evaporation as the heat increases. While rainwater is not sufficient for current agriculture farmers will have loss in crop productivity due to lack of enough water.

With Internet of Things in Agriculture and Smart Farming, farmers can now increase their productivity and minimize their losses. My Farm Info is one such tool.

Farmers can find the feasibility of growing any crop in their farm using this website. Through this, farmer can grow the crop which will produce maximum yield and avoid growing crops that are not feasible for their area. Forecast Advisory is also provided. With the help of such information farmers can get early warning of disease infestation so they can take proper measures to minimize their losses. Farmers can also use the crop scheduler section in this tool to keep track of all stages of their crop life cycle. SMS messages are sent to them according to the crop schedule. Even Forecast and disease alerts will notified using SMS service. Farmers can also use the Flood and wind risk pages to find the impact of flood and wind on their produce and with such valuable information, can increase their productivity and profits.