A lot of researches are going on regarding global warming and climate change in India. The studies vary widely. Sometimes it becomes difficult to draw conclusion from that. At present, it seems that the discussions on global warming are losing steam. But studies on climate change are gaining strength day by day. The Economic Survey 2017-18 has given a very vivid picture on climate change and it impact on agriculture. The essence of the matter is very relevant here for discussion.
The main finding of the study
The impact of temperature and rainfall is felt on the extreme. This means when temperatures are much higher, rainfall significantly lower and the number of ‘dry days’ greater than normal then the impact of climate change on agriculture becomes significant. Another important fact is that the impact is more severe in the un-irrigated areas. A long-term weather pattern shows that climate change could reduce annual agricultural incomes in the range of 15% to 18% on average and up to 20% to 25% for un-irrigated areas.
Why should one consider impact of climate change on agriculture?
Agriculture still accounts for a 15% of GDP and more than 50% employment of the country. So poor agricultural performance can lead to inflation, farmer distress and unrest, and larger political and social disaffection.
All of which can hold back the economy. Secondly, if productivity of agriculture is not increased, the economy cannot get required labour for industry or service sectors.
In these two sectors labour productivity is higher.
Economic development is possible only when more and more labour is employed in more productive sector. Thirdly, it is said that rural sector is “a sink of localism, a den of ignorance, narrow mindedness and communalism.” So far for social upliftment more and more rural people should be moved out of the rural sector.