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Impact of climate change on agriculture in Kashmir

Climate Change impacts: Kashmir's agri and horti sectors at risk

Like other states the impact of climate change in Kashmir is very much visible as a drastic reduction in yields of crops like rice, maize, wheat, barley, pulses and oilseeds can be seen. The impact is also very serious because the area of Kashmir is mono- cropped.
This article will try to highlight some of the impacts of climate change and give some remedial measures that can be applied:

The first change we see is the change in rainfall pattern. Kashmir being a temperate area used to receive a good amount of rainfall, but due the global warming the pattern of rainfall has changed. Either a place receives heavy rains which results in flooding or receives negligible rains which causes a threat like drought.

It is universally known that a crop when in its growing period requires moisture in ample amount during various seasons but when this deficiency occurs in these periods this results in poor crop growth, susceptibility to diseases and insects and even crop failure.

Flooding can remove or wash away the fertile top soil which supports the crop growth, thus reducing the productivity. Drought being another consequence of change in rainfall pattern results in drying or blowing away of top soil.

The second change that can be witnessed is the increase in average temperature of the world. Contrary to the global increase of 0.8 to 0.9°C, Kashmir has recorded 1.2°C rise in temperature.

Apart from this seasonal air temperature has also increased which has caused serious impacts like the production of irrigated rice, wheat and mustard has reduced by 6% , 4% and 4% respectively. Thus, overall production of food produces, vegetables and oilseeds has reduced by 40% , 30% and 69% respectively (sources)

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Apart from these, climate change also has an impact on the behavior of pathogens which can cause severe diseases. This change in climate can affect plant-pathogen interaction, expression of host resistance, favorable conditions for pathogen and severity of disease epidemic.

It has also been seen that due to these climatic change new races of pathogens have developed, the virulence of the pathogen has increased and the overwintering and oversummering of the pathogen has also increased which has thus increased their occurrence even if they completed their periods of infection.

Another impact of climate change is on pest attack has these factors have affected insect population dynamics. Global climate warming has expanded their geographical range, increased overwintering survival and number of generations. This has also increased the occurrence of insect- transmitted plant diseases.

These impacts can reduce the yield in general which is the main concern. So, a farmer must follow the preventive measures to tackle these impacts. Some measures can be:
The first thing a farmer can do is to stay alert in sudden and frequent weather changes in order to ensure high yields and risk management.

There are various applications available in both Android and IOs which farmers can use to get these weather forecasts and alerts.

Another thing a farmer can do is by filtering water properly which can prevent flooding and waterlogging to avoid chemical and water leakage. It will also tackle the problem of soil erosion. But one thing the farmer should keep in his mind that the drained water should not contain chemical herbicides and fertilizers which can cause pollution to water bodies.

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Emphasis should be laid on improved irrigation efficiency so that there is stable plant development.

Another way to tackle the impact is rainwater harvesting that is excess rain water is stored in storage tanks and then used in those areas which are hit by droughts or those areas where there is little or no rain.

One of the modern way to overcome or reduce the environment pollution is by practicing precision farming in which advanced technologies like drone observations and satellite-retrieved data as well as online farming software are used.

These tools help in identifying the critical areas and focus on them instead of treating the whole field.

If a farmer tries to follow the above mentioned measures he or she can tackle this climatic impact which can be harmful in longer run.

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