Crop water requirement and crop physiology has changed in the recent times. Hence, knowledge on climate change effects need to be updated to work out mitigation strategies, Ashwani Kumar, Director, Directorate of Water Management, Bhubaneshwar, said here recently.

Inaugurating a two-day training on “Stakeholders' Consultation on Climate Change Platform” at the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, he called for developing new climate change mitigation models that could be field tested on farmer holdings for them to see and believe.

“Climate change is having a profound effect on irrigated agriculture now, due to floods, droughts, rise in temperature, etc. Punjab, which was predominantly leaning towards cultivation of pulse crops, has now changed,” he said.

Mr. Kumar added that ground water needs should be strengthened as it could act as a shock absorber for the effects of climate change, whish was a big challenge.

All the networking centres had been requested to identify thrust areas for inclusion in the XII Five Year Plan under the National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture Project.

At present the project was operational in hard rock regions such as Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Junagadh to address the impact of climate change on ground water resources.

P. Murugesa Boopathi, Vice-Chancellor of the university, said climate change was being discussed in different forums with or without sufficient understanding. Intensive agriculture that had evolved over the years to feed the growing population was one of the reasons for climate change. Use of fossil fuels needed to be reduced by substituting with biofuels, which could decrease carbon dioxide emissions.

K. Palaniswami, Director, International Water Management Institute, Hyderabad, said it was essential to identify and define climate change factors specific to different locations, work out measures to address vulnerability in sensitive areas, make clear difference between climate change impact and economic development impact, evolve adaptation measures for climate change impact, and develop these measures at different levels.

‘Ground water needs should be strengthened as

it could act as a shock absorber for the effects of climate change'