Climate change poses tremendous challenges to India’s farming sector and globally. As the world warms, growing weather variability and worsening extremes are severely impacting agriculture.
India’s agricultural growth narrative has been outstanding, from overcoming food scarcity in the mid-1960s to establishing satisfactory food grain production levels. But on the other hand, land degradation and environmental issues have arisen as risks to the sustainability of agri-food systems. Moreover, natural calamities such as floods, droughts, storms, hailstorms, and cyclones have caused extreme hardship and farm misery.
In the face of a changing environment, feeding a growing population and guaranteeing food security has become challenging. As a result, India requires appropriate policy actions to reduce the effects of climate change. India will need to produce 450 million metric tonnes (MMT) of food grains per year to meet the demands of a growing population.
How Temperature Affects the Quality of Indian Food Grains
Temperature influences the quality of food grains in many crops. Such sudden crests and troughs can substantially impact the nutritional security of emerging countries such as India. Increasing carbon dioxide concentrations and temperature have been identified as the reason for the fall in cereal grain protein content. High temperatures are also said to degrade the quality of basmati rice.
Pests and diseases in crops are affected by climate change since they are temperature and humidity dependant. Temperature-dependent spore movement has been demonstrated to cause varying levels of rust virulence, resulting in yield reductions. Climate extremes directly impact productivity in temperate crops such as apples. Inadequate cooling is mostly to blame for low apple yields in Himachal Pradesh.
Stubble Burning – A Major Problem
Around the same time, 2 million farmers in Punjab and Haryana set fire to their fields every year. Farmers quickly harvest rice by driving giant combine harvesting machines. But such an operation produces a jagged and twisting mass of woody straw known as paddy stubble. They must eliminate this maze of stubble—and fast to plant wheat.
With the window for planting wheat closing rapidly, millions of farmers hastily clear the stubble by burning it.
In October and November, the burning haze reaches a peak. Toxins emitted by fires mix with pollutants emitted by other sources, such as manufacturing and vehicles.
The season’s cooler temperatures limit wind circulation, trapping pollution and irritating lungs, eyes, and hearts. Unfortunately, the indoors provide no relief; Houses do not place ventilation as a top priority in these areas.
The heat kills the bacteria that once provided fertility to the soil. In addition, millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide held in plants evaporate into the upper atmosphere. In turn, this raises the layer of gases heating the globe.
Toxins such as carbon monoxide and ozone saturate the air near the surface. As a result, breathing becomes difficult for both rural and urban populations.
How Seeders Can Help to Reduce Climate Change
Crop seeding machines such as the Happy Seeder show great promise in addressing the issue of stubble burning, which is a frequent practice in many agricultural areas. The Happy Seeder collects and chops paddy stubble, plants wheat seeds into the soil, and mulches the wheat with chopped rice straw. All you have to do is mount the happy seeder on your John Deere 5210, which will take care of the stubble.
The happy seeder eliminates the need to burn and enhances soil health by holding rainwater and producing natural fertiliser. In addition, this method aids in climate change mitigation by preventing the emission of greenhouse gases from burning and improving soil biodiversity, promoting the creation of a web of life.
When the cost of stubble-burning increases due to the need to spend more money on fertilisers to rebuild fields, seeding machines provide a sustainable option that allows the soil to regenerate and enrich itself while lowering agriculture’s carbon footprint.
The Importance of Learning
Knowledge dissemination is another important part of climate change mitigation. Farmers should learn how to prepare the proper soil, select the right crop, and employ low-cost organic agriculture practices and water-conservation strategies. Soil preparation can be done mechanically with mounting specialised tools on a tractor. Tractors nowadays come with modern tech, capable of running any farm implement. Tractors like the New Holland 5620 would help you take care of any issue without hassle.
Also, water scarcity is a big worry for these farmers. Irrigation techniques are helpful here, and learning about them is also important.
Farmers can construct micro irrigation programmes with this knowledge and instruction in moisture-conserving and water-harvesting procedures. However, they should also consider the need to balance water demand and supply at the village level.
Finally, climate change greatly impacts Indian agriculture, with natural disasters, land degradation, and environmental difficulties offering substantial obstacles.
High temperatures, pests, and illnesses impact the quality and quantity of food grains, while stubble burning pollutes the air and reduces soil fertility.
There are, however, solutions, such as adopting crop seeding devices such as the Happy Seeder, which not only lowers the need for burning but also improves soil health.
Dissemination of knowledge and learning about sustainable farming practices are also important in minimising the effects of climate change on Indian agriculture. Therefore, acting now is critical to ensuring a sustainable and secure food supply for India’s expanding population while conserving the environment for future generations.