Rice output may decline by 6.7% by 2020: ICAR

Rice production is expected to decrease by 6.7 per cent in India by 2020 due to impact of climate change.

New Delhi: Rice production is expected to decrease by 6.7 per cent in India by 2020 due to impact of climate change, a study by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has said.

Quoting ICAR`s network project `Impacts, adaption and vulnerability of Indian Agriculture to Climate Change`, Minister of State for Agriculture Harish Rawat said in a
written reply to Parliament last week that kharif rice is more vulnerable to climate change than maize and sorghum.

The study added that mean reduction in rice production would be a high of 15.1 per cent and 28.2 per cent in 2050 and 2080, respectively.

Global warming would also adversely impact production of milk and agri crops like maize and sorghum, the study said.

The first estimates of 2011-12 put rice output in the country at 87.10 million tonnes.

Referring to the study, Rawat pointed out that climate change is likely to reduce cereal yields.

For the same periods, reduction in maize and sorghum yields would be 3.0, 9.3 per cent and 18.3 per cent and 4.5, 11.2 and 18.7 per cent, respectively, if no new management
interventions are made, he quoted from the study.

Underlining other significant findings of the study, he said cumulative chill units of coldest months have declined by 9.1 to 19 units per year in last two decades in different
districts of Himachal Pradesh.

As a consequence, there has been a shift of apple belt to higher elevations of Lahaul-Spiti and upper reaches of Kinnaur districts of the state.

Global warming would have negative effect on dairy too, as it could reduce milk production by 1.6 million tonnes by 2020 and more than 15 million tonnes by 2050, the study said.

High yielding cross-breed cows and buffaloes will be affected more than indigenous cattle.

Northern India is likely to experience greater impact of global warming on milk production of both cattle and buffaloes in future.

Rawat said the scientific information generated and the technologies developed through this project are being incorporated into the new scheme NICRA (National Initiative on
Climate Resilient Agriculture) to minimise the climate change impact on agriculture.

Technology demonstration to cope up with the current climate variability is being demonstrated in 100 vulnerable districts in 28 states through NICRA, he added.


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