Dr Kausalya Ramachandran Principal Scientist & ICAR National Fellow, Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture


Climate Change Hazard to Rainfed Agriculture in India
Indian rainfed agriculture faces climate change hazard as evident from study of multitemporal AVHRR and MODIS NDVI datasets using CV of Max NDVI. Over 46 m ha of agricultural land in arid, semi-arid and dry and moist sub-humid agro-ecosystems is adversely affected that extends over 122 districts in 11 states in 33 agro-ecological sub-regions (AESR), accounting for 33 % of agricultural land in India. To understand type of hazard and vulnerability imparted to agriculture several aspects viz., actual area under agriculture in district, prevalent bio-climate, normal length of crop growing period (LGP) and that derived through modeling using NDVI datasets, predominant cropping systems and crop types, etc, were analyzed to develop typologies for adaptation. Reclassification was used to develop typology. Study indicated that climate hazard could affect half of agricultural land in 56 districts and nearly whole of 54 districts. Thirty districts in arid, 79 in semi-arid, 10 in hot dry sub- humid and 2 in hot moist sub-humid were vulnerable. Study of LGP variations indicated decline in moist semi-arid Gangetic Plains, sub-humid Central India, Southern Plateau and Coastal region that forms an important agricultural region. While LGP derived from AVHRR and MODIS datasets were similar, it varied in case of arid ecosystems in Rajasthan and Gujarat. Cropping systems based on paddy, maize, soybean and cotton faced climate hazard while ecosystems with large buffalos and cattle population could face fodder shortage. Land use in typical vulnerable district was analysed to identify strategies for improving adaptive capacity of farmer.