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Irrigation practices influencing precipitation patterns and risk to agriculture

  • Integrity Education, Delhi
  • 06, Jul 2021
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  • Climate researchers have discovered that excess irrigation over northern India shifts the September monsoon rainfall towards the north-western part of the subcontinent and increases widespread weather extremes over Central India.
  • Monsoon precipitation is sensitive to the choice of irrigation practices in South Asia
  • South Asia is one of the most heavily irrigated regions of the world, largely using groundwater, and its major summer crop is paddy which is cultivated in water flooded fields.
  • Extreme rainfall in recent decades in Central India has been increasing, and this is also caused by an increase in irrigation and consequent increase in evapotranspiration (the sum of evaporation from the land surface plus transpiration from plants).
  • This research was done under NICRA Programme

National Innovations on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA)

  • NICRA is a network project of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) launched in February, 2011
  • The project aims to enhance resilience of Indian agriculture to climate change and climate vulnerability through strategic research and technology demonstration.
  • The research on adaptation and mitigation covers crops, livestock, fisheries and natural resource management.

Why do we need Climate Resilient Crops ?
Since agriculture makes up roughly 16 percent of India’s GDP, a 4.5 to 9% negative impact on production implies a cost of climate change to be roughly up to 1.5 percent of GDP per year.