Tractor News

Climate Change And The Indian Farms

The announcement of India's Panchamrit (five-fold strategy) to combat climate change during the 26th Conference of the Parties (CoP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, has sparked international interest. The country's new commitments include achieving 500 gigawatts (GW) of non-fossil fuel energy capacity by 2030, producing 50% of energy needs via renewable energy sources by 2030, reducing 1 billion tonnes of carbon by 2030, lowering the carbon intensity of GDP by 45 percent by 2030, and, most importantly, achieving net-zero emissions by 2070.

At the meeting, 26 countries endorsed the Sustainable Agriculture Policy Action Agenda to chart a course for protecting food systems and preventing biodiversity loss as a result of climate change. The governments pledged to "use land responsibly and put environmental protection and restoration at the core of everything" as part of their promises.

India did not sign the agenda since its Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA), one of the missions within the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC), is already in place to address climate change in agriculture.

Quoting an article that studies Indian agriculture and sustainability, it observes

"While Indian agriculture is adversely impacted by the vicissitudes of climate change, the sector also is a significant contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As per the Third Biennial Update Report submitted by the Government of India in early 2021 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the agriculture sector contributes 14 per cent of the total GHG emissions (energy 75.01 per cent; industrial process and product use 8 per cent; and waste 2.7 per cent, as per 2016 data)."

What can India do about mitigating climate change? What strategies can our country implement in changing the direction towards which we're currently heading? The Indian agricultural scenario offers little hope for future generations as the soil is continually depleted and then overburdened by the excessive usage of chemicals. Some strategies can be implemented. These include removing monocropping and introducing a diverse cropping system that ensures that nutrition isn't completely stripped off from the soil. The other change that can be implemented is utilizing agroecological strategies like mulching which can be an effective way to treat and combat the constant problem of crop residue. The burning over of stubble can contribute enough to pollution over India's non agrarian zones as well due to changes in wind direction.

In its climate change policy, India has struck a balance between growth and sustainability, and it is leading the developing world to include agriculture in the ongoing talks. For more than a decade, the National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture has concentrated on making Indian agriculture sustainable while taking into account the expected hazards posed by climate variability as part of the National Action Plan on Climate Change.

Climate-smart agricultural technologies and approaches have been developed by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the CGIAR system (a France-based public agricultural innovation network), including the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), to help the agricultural sector be less vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change.