Experts have expressed concern over the impact of climate change on agriculture. At the same time, they were hopeful that human ingenuity would help redress environmental imbalance by adapting appropriate lifestyle.
At a workshop on the impact of climate change on agriculture, organised by the Citizens Global Platform (CGP) here on Thursday, K.S. Lokesh of the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Sri Jayachamarajendra College of Engineering, gave a broad picture of climate change brought about by various factors.
He highlighted the impact of deforestation, loss of vegetation and green cover. He said increase in the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere was among the leading factors affecting climate change. Mr. Lokesh said transportation sector and industries were major contributors to the increase in emission of carbon dioxide. He pointed out that increased use of chemicals and fertilizer too played a role in environmental imbalance. India’s contribution in terms of carbon dioxide emission was mere 4 per cent of the total world emission, with major polluters being the developed countries, Mr. Lokesh said.
The long-term impact of global warming would lead to rise in sea level, periodic storms such as cyclones, widespread extinction of species in the long run, and food insecurity and water scarcity. By 2050, it is feared that the crop output would decline, with rice production plummeting by 17 per cent and wheat production by 50 per cent, he said.
U.N. Ravikumar, environmentalist, said the solution lay in following indigenous agricultural system prevailing in countries such as India to combat global warming and the impact of climate change. The blind following of the western methods had resulted in energy-intensive agricultural system which was not sustainable in the Indian context. Mr. Ravikumar said India had both an opportunity and responsibility to demonstrate to the world the imperatives of water conservation, nutrient recycling and the need to shift to crops such as millets that were not water-intensive like sugarcane or paddy. The workshop was inaugurated by Bannur Krishnappa, practitioner of natural farming. P.P. Baburaj of the CGP and Badagalapura Nagendra, leader of the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha, were present.