Climate induced disaster

This year the monsoon started a bit later and is expected to extend for 8-10 days more. Rainfall has led to landslides and road blockages in hilly areas. Farmers face losing their crops. For farmers of Nepal Dashain is not only a merry making season but also an important period for paddy harvesting.

Extended rainfall pattern in this period has caused lodging of matured paddy plants and has increased the risk of disease and pest. The farmers are facing problems due to the extended monsoon. Erratic rainfall had harmed the cropping cycle and reduced production. Last year the rice production decreased by about three lakh metrics tonnes because of floods and other reasons. Climate change is the reason behind the erratic rainfall pattern and unpredictable natural disasters.

Climate change has led to food insecurity. Uncertain climate induced disasters have affected the cropping calendar of farmers. This causes problem for the poorest peoples who are already investing most of their income on food. Instability of food supply may lead to malnutrition and create a cycle of hunger and disease. A study revealed that due to climate change, the number of people at risk of hunger will increase by 10-20% by 2050.  Similarly, the number of malnourished children could increase by up to 20%. Apple and citrus do not grow in the areas where they used to grow 20 years before. Diseases and pests are invading the hilly areas. Incidences of disasters like drought, flood, storm, and tsunami have been increasing. Though the extended tropical area has provided a room for higher production the climate induced disasters instantly reduces the probability for obtaining better yield.

Irrigated agricultural land occupies less than one-fifth of all cropped areas but produces 40-45% of the world’s food. Similarly, one-sixth of the world depends on glacier fed river basins. Such sources of water depend on climatic conditions. Any alterations in climate may cause gigantic destruction. Due to global warming the ice caps are melting and water resources are drying up.

We need to increase global food production by 60%. For achieving it we need to act smartly against climate change. Climate smart technology like the use of ICT for agriculture, use of tolerant and resistant varieties, conservation tillage practices, mulching and protected cultivation, reducing carbon footprint and others are appropriate  measures.