Helping ryots endure climate change in Telangana
The long-term climate analysis of this study indicated a high to very high climate risk in most of the mandals in Nalgonda, Adilabad, Yadadri Bhongir and Nagarkurnool districts.
Published: 09th October 2022 04:54 AM | Last Updated: 09th October 2022 04:54 AM | A+A A-
HYDERABAD: At a time when climate change is impacting farming across the world, researchers at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), in partnership with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), have developed climate-smart agriculture (CSA) investment planning tool which helps in selecting locally-appropriate practices, technologies, climate information services, policies and finance options at the Mandal and district level across Telangana.
According to the report titled ‘Towards climate-smart agricultural policies and investments in Telangana, climate risk assessment was carried out after the State was divided into 350 grids. Indicators such as temperature changes, heat and cold wave events, rainfall variability and changes in the frequency or intensity of consecutive dry and wet days in these regions were analysed.
Speaking to TNIE, the lead author Dr Shalander Kumar, Cluster Leader – Markets, Institutions and Policies, ICRISAT, says, “Climate change has been impacting agricultural production, which has resulted in increased climate risk and loss of livelihoods for the farmers. Mainstreaming CSA and food systems practices will increase productivity and adaptation to climate risk.”
The long-term climate analysis of this study indicated a high to very high climate risk in most of the mandals in Nalgonda, Adilabad, Yadadri Bhongir and Nagarkurnool districts. The other major districts facing high climate risk were Mahbubnagar, Gadwal, Wanaparthy, Rangareddy, Nirmal and Suryapet.
Target oriented data
Crops such as cotton, pigeon pea and maize were commonly cultivated in the mandals with the highest climate risks, indicating the need to promote CSA practices that enhance the resilience of these cropping systems in the short run and to assess alternative farming systems strategies for the long run.
“CSA practices may also reduce the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs) which is also critically important for ensuring sustainable food production and also contribute towards more environment-friendly agri-food systems,” Dr Shalender adds.
Practices that were analysed in the study are the drip irrigation system, broad bed and furrow, ridges and furrow, farm ponds, crop residue incorporation, unpuddled mechanical rice transplanting and climate information services. However, not every technique proved to be effective across conditions and districts
“The findings revealed that drip irrigation and farm pond technologies might be highly profitable and weather-resilient but not equally effective across crops and districts. Farm pond technology was found to be most effective for the cultivation of high-value crops like mango and tomato. At the same time, drip irrigation technology proved to be more effective for cotton and groundnut cultivation under extreme weather conditions. Without such information, the investment allocation for climate-resilient technologies is less likely to reach its full potential,” he explains.
While rising food insecurity caused by climate change has alarmed governments, policymakers and farmers across the world, Dr Shalender believes that this investment planning tool will help the people in power make decisions on crops and prioritise investment based on quantitative analysis that reduces climate risk and benefits, farmers, economically as well.
“This science-based CSA scaling framework and policy tool could easily be replicated in the other States of India, and in other countries facing climate threats,” he adds.
DEPENDENT ON FARMING
Rainfed farming systems, representing 54 per cent of the net sown area in Telangana have become increasingly affected by recurring drought and high climatic variability, adversely affecting the livelihoods of millions of farm families.
About 55 per cent of the State’s population is dependent on farm activity. In 2014-15, the gross state domestic product (GSDP) in the agriculture sector declined by 10.3 per cent, attributed mainly to adverse seasonal conditions
- Climate risk assessment was carried out after the State was divided into 350 grids
- Indicators such as temperature changes, heat and cold wave events, rainfall variability and changes in the frequency or intensity of consecutive dry and wet days were analysed
- A high to very high climate risk was seen in most mandals of Nalgonda, Adilabad, Yadadri Bhongir and Nagarkurnool districts