IPRI report reveals how to counter the impact of Climate Change on Pakistan’s food security

Climate change-induced rise in mercury and changing rainfall patterns are going to have damaging effects on agriculture, globally as well as in Pakistan.

The agriculture sector in Pakistan is quite sensitive to the ongoing and projected changes in climate parameters. Given the rise of global average surface temperatures by 0.74°C in the last 100 years, efficient management of the agricultural sector by using appropriate adaptation strategies has become an absolute necessity.

Impact of climate change on Pakistan’s food security

Climate change-induced rise in mercury and changing rainfall patterns are going to have damaging effects on agriculture, globally as well as in Pakistan.

Climate change disturbs agricultural production, rate of crop yield, and traditional farming practices.

Consequently, some countries have started suffering from the phenomenon as crops are no more adaptable to fiery heat and droughts.

Some arid lowlands will be affected by rising sea levels, floods, and the salinization of underground water. On the other hand, agricultural lands will be ruined by water scarcity, mainly because of less rainfall and rapid glacier melting, causing drought-like conditions.

Thus, blistering mercury will affect farming yields through floods and droughts, making it a significantly vulnerable sector to climate change.

Difference in temperature and rainfall from 1972-81 to 2010-2019 in Faisalabad:

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How to Counter Impacts of Climate Change on Food Security?

Implementation of Revised Agro-ecological Zones (AEZs) in Punjab

Punjab’s agro-ecological zoning is a core component of the province’s efforts to develop productive farming and food systems.

According to the revised Agro-Ecological Zones of Punjab, there is enormous potential for crop diversification and precision for enhanced crop productivity. Implementation of these agro-ecological zones will encourage productive agricultural enterprise by enabling farmers to identify the most suitable crops for their lands.

Most suitable land areas for major crops

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Diversification of Crops and Growth of Pulses and Edible Oils

Crop diversification strategies assist to offset microclimatic changes and offer stronger climate change adaptability potential and food security status. The more inclusive application of various cultivation systems minimizes climate change sensitivity.

Development of Weather Resistant Seeds

Abiotic stresses are the major type of stresses that plants suffer. Some bottleneck molecular and physiological challenges in plants need to be resolved for better plant adaptation under abiotic conditions.

For crop resistance against biotic and abiotic stresses, propagating novel cultural methods, implementing various cropping schemes, and different conventional and non-conventional approaches should be adopted to save agriculture in the future.

Adopting Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA)

CSA approach aims at transforming and reorienting agricultural development under the new realities of climate change. Recognized CSA approaches include:

  • Managing climate risks through changes in agricultural technologies.
  • Reducing GHGs emissions.
  • Management of resources to produce more with fewer resources.
  • Services for farmers and farm managers to enable them to implement the necessary changes.

Benefits of resource conservation technologies

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Climate Forecasting for Farmers

Weather forecasts could also be a key component for climate change adaptation, such as short-adjustments or autonomous actions that can be implemented without requiring major system changes.

Examples of weather-sensitive decision problems of this type include crop selection and sequence, calendar adjustments, irrigation, fertilizer application schedule, and pesticide application. In practice, however, the decision-making process frequently necessitates precise weather forecasts.

Adoption of Improved Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

Traditional farming which ultimately led to major improvements in agricultural productivity has been reformed by the ICTs. Enhanced effectiveness and viability of small farms are crucial to empower farmers.

ICTs are the technologies that provide access by telecommunications means. They also help improve productivity in agriculture through better techniques and cost-efficiently.

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