Global warming threatening the world’s food production

By Mr. Kaustubh Joshi,Strategy, Mahyco

It is very evident that Global Warming has observable effects on the quality and quantity of world’s food production. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has estimated a rise in temperature from 2.5°F to 10°F over the next century (Source). As climate change continues to impact agriculture, feeding world’s population is going to be extremely challenging. According to a study, 43% of the world’s corn and 1/3rd of wheat and rice, are grown in vulnerable areas affected by global warming (Source). This has raised concerns over climate-related issues to meet the demands for growing population.

Studies indicates that an increase in the global average temperature of more than 3.6°F poses threats to natural systems, human health & well-being (Source). Recently, NASA released its global August measurement, which stated that August was warmer than the previous warmest August, 2014 (Source).Even a small increase in the temperature can impact the regional crop productions and livestock.

It is common knowledge that that global warming escalates the frequency and intensity of some disasters such as droughts, floods and storms, which has an adverse impact on livelihoods and crop plantation. Henceforth, it affects the food security of India significantly and resulted in food price rise.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) report, there is a correlation between wheat and maize yields with NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) and PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation). Thus, changes in the weather patterns of these oceans impact the food production directly (Source). India’s average export of agricultural products is 62.92 INR Billion from 1991 till 2016 (Source). Henceforth the consequences of global warming for Indian agriculture sector are considerable.

For a long time, farms have faced high risk due to climate change across the globe. Global warming threats to agricultural production include risks to crop yield, grains, vegetables, and fruit crops, planting and harvesting challenges and many more. There are several agricultural practices such as chemical fertilizers, submerged paddy cultivation, the Jhum cultivation, which leads to global warming (Source).

We may have caused global warming, but more importantly we can address the consequences of the same. Technology and innovation in the field of agriculture are all we need to bring down the emissions of greenhouse gases. Modern farming methods and technologies will help us to overcome climate related issues and boost production surely. This is the high time for us to embrace Climate Smart Agriculture for the sake of better future. Adopting new and innovative technologies like precision agriculture and biotechnology can be the key to address the challenges of global warming. There is an immediate need to promote and implement E-agriculture strategies to strengthen India’s food security . This will help us in achieving food security, world without hunger.