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Effect of climatic changes on agriculture




  • Effect of climatic changes on agriculture

    Author names: Dr. Hafiz Azhar Ali Khan (1), Dr. Faisal Hafeez1, Ayesha Iftikhar2, Muhammad Sohaib3, Ayesha Arshad4.

    1 Assistant Entomologist at Entomological Research Institute (ERI), Ayub Agricultural Research Institute (AARI), Faisalabad.

    (1) Assistant Professor at Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IAGS), Punjab University Lahore.

    2 Agricultural Officer at Entomological Research Institute (ERI), Ayub Agricultural Research Institute (AARI), Faisalabad.

    3+4 Institute of agricultural sciences (IAGS), University of The Punjab, Lahore.

    ………………………………………………

    The article includes;

    • Weather and climate.
    • Overview of Agriculture.
    • Impact of climate change on environment.
    • Impact of climate change on Agriculture
    • Responsivities of Researcher.

    Weather:

    The environmental conditions for shorter time is known as weather.

    Climate:

    The conditions of weather over an area for longer period is called as climate.

    If we talk about an ecosystem, the relationship of living things and non-living things is necessary. Similarly, in case of agriculture, relationship of crops and livestock with environmental factors like temperature, humidity etc is necessary.

    Agriculture is the production of crops and rearing of animals. Both these things are very important for humans as they get food, clothes, and many others by products by value addition. The history of agriculture in Pakistan is very old. Earlier, people used to eat edible parts of plants and wild animals but later with the passage of time and awareness, people started to rear and produce by own. Hence, the era of agriculture started. Almost 47% of Pakistan’s people is getting income through agriculture sector, and input of this sector in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of country is supposed to be 24%. In 1980-81, agriculture sector was causative 31% in the country’s GDP whereas in 2012-2013, it has mowed down to 21.4% (Economic survey of Pakistan, 2013).

    Two crop seasons are present in Pakistan that are Rabi and Kharif seasons. The growing time of Rabi crops is normally from November to April and Kharif crops from May to October. The performance of these seasons depends upon climatic factors like temperature, rain, humidity through direct or in-direct ways during the whole year. The main crops wheat, maize, and rice contribute to 80% of the world-wide cereal production.

    Effect of climatic changes on environment:

    There are following major environmental factors that are being effected by climate.

    Water Cycle:

    The climate can affect water cycle that causes disturbance in Hydrologic cycle that are main reasons for draughtiness and flood in many agricultural areas. Hence crop is disturbed.

    Heat:

    As we know, green house is formed in which rays come from outer region and are unable to move back in outside ecosystem. So, the increase of this heat energy badly disturbs ecosystem due to which living and non-living organisms are being affect.

    How climate changes are related to agriculture?

    Effect on crops:

    In previous years, length of summer is increased while cold period is reduced. Due to climatic change, growing season of wheat crop is reduced which has a bad impact on its productivity. Similarly, increases in air temperature decreases cold periods due to which production of some crops is affected.  It is supposed that 2-3°C increase in temperature in summers and 1-2.8°C decrease in winters, seriously affect rice-wheat cropping pattern of Punjab (Pakistan). Floods are main symptoms of climatic changes. By every two years, Pakistan needs to face problem of water in the form of rain or flood due to which the main assets of farmers are destroyed and poverty, malnutrition occurs.  The present study reveals that change in environment not only change plant growth period but many other factors like nutrients level, soil compatibility, fertility is also disturbed. Rising of CO2 is not good for agriculture. Many insect pest, weeds, fungi and diseases occur now a days due to these changes. Presently, U.S. agriculturalists devoted more than $11 billion per year to fight with weeds.

    Impact on Livestock:

    Heat sprays, which are increasing day by day, directly impend cattle. In last 3-4 years, contact of animals with high temperature caused over $1 billion losses to agricultural producers. Heat stress affects animals both directly and indirectly. Over time, heat stress can increase weakness to disease, reduce richness, reduce milk production and reduction in meat and egg laying. Draughtiness in some areas of Punjab not only disturb livestock but also cause feed and pasture quality. The change in temperature and humidity can cause attack of parasites and insect pest on feed of animals and livestock becomes vulnerable to diseases. Similarly, increase in CO2 may cause better growth of plants and crops but production of livestock is highly reduced.

    Impact on Fisheries:

    Climate change in altering the aquatic system by increasing CO2, causing Hypoxemia (Reduction of O2) and increasing temperature. Climate change causes fish redistribution, reduction in size of fish and formation of dead zone.

    What can Researcher do?

    • To develop drought resistant varieties that can grow well under drought condition.
    • Development of low cost and highly efficient irrigation techniques.
    • Development of gadgets to monitor the changes in climate.
    • Development of new varieties that are resistant to pest and diseases.
    • Better policies.

     

    About Muhammad Ramzan Rafique

    I am from a small town Chichawatni, Sahiwal, Punjab , Pakistan, studied from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, on my mission to explore world I am in Denmark these days..

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