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Adapting to the Climate Change: Integrated Agriculture Systems

Climate extremes vary on different time scales. In recent decades the extreme phenomenon has become frequent because of which Indian sub-continent is consistently facing drought and flooding situations.

These two abysmal climate changes are erratic and synchronized. Their coexistence poses a significant threat to the country’s farmers because 58% of India’s population is dependent on agriculture as their primary source of livelihood.

Despite being highly vulnerable and prone to climate changes, the country remains dependent on rain fed agriculture and following old fashioned irrigation techniques as there is a lack of adoption of modern technologies.

Climate change impacts the rainfed crops and dryland crops as 68% of the cultivated area in Indian agriculture come under dryland, contributing to about 44 per cent of the total food production and playing a critical role in India’s food security.

It has a significant impact on soil properties such as moisture content, pH dissolved salts, nutrient cycles and soil organic matter and also affects water aquifers by enhancing the stress on the availability of water for irrigation.

One of the major reasons for this study is that the Indian Agriculture sector contributes approximately 16% to Indian GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and 10% of total exports; thus, it constitutes the most significant part of the Indian Economy.

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Therefore, adaptation to climate change is quite important because it will lessen the adverse effects, helps in coping with its consequences and takes the perks of alterations in climate parameters.

Without the adaptation to climate change, people involved in the agriculture sector become more vulnerable to climate extremities, and agricultural yield would be highly affected.

Adaptation is an unavoidable multidisciplinary problem. It does require unavoidable attention to agro-climatology, technical and socio-economic issues.

There are various measures or approaches to agricultural adaptation, such as intercropping and mixed cropping, to minimize the risk and increase agricultural systems’ resilience and productivity.

Integrated Agricultural Systems (IAS) is one such adaptation technique that provides great help to the farmers by lowering their reliability to the external inputs, aids in increasing the nutrient cycle and enhancing the efficiency of natural resources.

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IAS is a technique which provides cost-effectiveness, more resilience to climate change and benefits to farmers & ecosystems.

This particular adaptation also helps maintain the biological diversity and nutrient cycling mechanisms which is the global mechanism of agroecosystems and essential in designing sustainable agriculture systems.

Understanding the regional variances of weather parameters like temperature, rainfall, wind and relative humidity and how indigenous farmers adapt to these climate changes with diversified geographical topography will help mitigate its effects and make them more resilient to these climate anomaliesIntegrated Agricultural Systems (IAS) help the farmers to plan the adaptation accordingly.

Tree-based adaptation approaches are less affected by the drought and flood conditions. Moreover, tree management measures have quite an impact on the microclimatic conditions of the regions.

The integrated Agricultural System may provide an edge over other adaptation techniques used by farmers to combat or cope with climate change.

The Faculty of Science, SGT University, is one of the best Science colleges in Delhi NCR. The faculty has five departments: Department of Physics, Department of Chemistry, Department of Mathematics, Department of Forensic Science, and Department of Environmental Science. The Faculty of Science offers 12 courses – 2 Undergraduate, 5 Postgraduate, and 5 PhDs.

Written By:-
Dr. Archana Chaudhary
Associate Professor
Department of Environmental science
Faculty of Science
SGT University

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