Agriculture depends upon climate which means they are two separate but not independent subjects. Agriculture is the back bone of 70% of Indian population and is the pivot of the economy. Climate plays wonder with the life cycle of both flaura and fauna. Flaura is growth of plants in a particular region. Fauna is animal life of particular region. Thus weather can influence the whole socio-economic aspects of the country.
Climate variations in India
- In summers, we are experiencing scorching heat when temperature rise upto 50oC.
- In chilly winters mercury is dipping to 0oC in the northern plains of India.
- Monsoon is also showing erratic behaviour. If in one year there is heavy rain then in the other there is drought.
- Changes are taking place in the climatic conditions in India which is mainly due to global warming
Effect of climate conditions on agriculture
- The hurricanes, cyclonic rains or drought not only take toll of crops but sometimes washes away human races also. Orissa and Gujarat are the recent examples.
- Excessive rains throughout the country towards the end of Kharif season affected both harvested and standing crops. In 1997-98 Kharif production target was 105.5 million tonnes but the production was only 101.65 million tonnes.
- In Rabi production also target was 94.5 million tonnes but the production was 30.02 million tonnes due to unseasonal rains and cloudy weather.
- The left over crops also add misery to the farmers by involving addition cost of field operations and post harvest handling of the crops.
Due to the climatic conditions “vivipary” occurs. Vivipary is a process in which seed coating break and leads to sprouting of seeds in pocis? only. This decreases the germination potential of seeds and leads to loss of market value.
Reorientation of our priority areas to keep pace with changing environment
Here are some areas related to agriculture, if well taken care in advance can easily handle nature at its worst.
- The computer stimulation techniques offer great potential to check the quality of seeds under severe climatic conditions prevailing in India. In this process the seed is analysed under the frequency component of sound waves and correlated to various seed quality parameters. So analysed seed should readily be available to the farmers of affected areas.
- The advent of biotechnology has made possible to develop new plant types which are resistant to sprouting damage and can withstand the floods. These can be used efficiently in future whenever needed.
- Modernisation has given us new packages of practices for raising crops. These should be developed and practised.
- The devastation in agriculture can be avoided only by timely and duly forewarning because of unreliability of forecasting.
- Forearning the poor peasants with quality seeds of all crops grows in combination with weather forecasting could guard them against brutalities of nature.
- The farmers of the country should be educated so that they can take the benefits of forecasting and can save their crops.
- The farmers of Kovilpathi in Tamil Nadu adopted the weather based advisory of early saving of seeds of soughum, cotton & pulses. They had 50% increase in the field of all the three crops.
- On the other hand, the farmers of Pune region could not follow the advisory and had a poor crop due to inadequate moisture for germination of seed.
- Similarly farmers of Ludhiana who did not sow the seeds of frost resistant varieties could save only 30% of the total production of potato and tomato whereas advisories predicted occurrence of frost.
- Thus due to uneducated farmers they were unknown of the advisory prediction.
- The Government should also make sound policies and the variety release committee should keep on angle’s eye on any new variety released.
As we know crop production parameters are inter-related so it is essential to work out new modus-operandi. The depletion of natural resources and the deterioration of environment are also the issues of concern in progressing towards sustainable future. Though (HYV) high yielding programme has been successfully implemented in India leading to remarkable increase in the yield, till now assessment of future development potential has not been visualised. These type of more programmes should be implemented for the bright future in agriculture.