Climate change would cast an adverse impact on water and energy resources and governments need to address these issues. This was the observation made by experts at a seminar on Climate change – Impact on Agriculture in India, held at National Institute of Nutrition here on Saturday.

Though no clear trend had emerged with respect to the occurrence of cyclones, heat waves, cold waves and the like, climate change would lead to a rise in instances of heavy rainfall and a fall in the number of rainy days. This would influence groundwater recharge patterns across the country, pointed out Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA) Director B. Venkateswarlu.

The demand for water and energy resources will definitely increase in the future. One lakh gallon of water used in steel production will have a higher value than the same quantity of water used in agricultural fields. Industry will be willing to pay more for water and energy and this will lead to increased demand, Dr. Venkateswarlu said.

Short-term decline in food production can be addressed through better deployment of existing technology, backed by few policy initiatives, while long-term impact can be addressed through research and development, he suggested.

Governments should promote crop diversification and climate-resilient agriculture. For instance, farmers in coastal districts cultivate the Swarna variant of rice whereas the Indira variety, with greater resilience to floods, would be more beneficial.

Districts identified

CRIDA has identified 100 districts across the country for studying different natural calamities. In the State, Srikakulam has been identified for flood impact, West Godavari for cyclone and Nalgonda and Anantapur for drought, Dr. Venkateswarlu added.

Liberty Institute Director Barun Mitra and AP Academy of Sciences Fellow S. Jeevananda Reddy presented papers at the seminar.

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