India - Changing rainfall patterns impacting rice crop

19.09.2022 254 views

As India gets ready to harvest its Kharif (monsoon) crop, a rainfall deficit in parts of the country will have an impact on rice production, according to experts and environmentalists.

India has two major sowing seasons – Kharif and Rabi. While rice is grown in the Kharif season (June-October), the other crops, or Rabi crops, are grown as winter approaches around October-November.

According to environmentalists in India, climate change is leading to changes in rainfall patterns in the country, which will impact the country's overall crop production this year.

India's Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution said last week that the likely shortfall in area and production of paddy for the 2022 Kharif season is approximately 6%.

“In domestic production, an estimated 6 to 7 million metric tons production loss is anticipated, but due to good monsoon rains in some pockets, the production loss may reduce to 4 to 5 million tons. However, this would be at par with last year’s production," said a government statement.

India last week also announced a ban on exports of broken rice and imposed a 20% duty on various grades of rice starting Sept. 9.

Rice is a staple food for more than half of the country’s population.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Mahesh Palawat, chief meteorologist at India's Skymet Weather Services, identified the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and parts of West Bengal with deficit rainfall. These are major rice-producing states.

“The monsoon is less in these areas. As per the figures, the rainfall deficit is around 20%-50%," he said, adding central India this year saw heavy rainfall.

Palawat said that crop production would be impacted because of less rainfall this year, and the change in rainfall patterns in the country is because of climate change.


Rainfall deficit

Aditya Prakash, director of the Agriculture Department in the northern state of Bihar, said the rainfall deficit is between 20%-50% in several parts of the state.

“The change this year is that earlier, it (drought conditions) was localized. This year, such conditions exist in around 10 districts. It will have a slight impact on the overall rice production in the state," he said. "We are monitoring the situation continuously. The good thing is that over the last few days, the situation has improved because of the fresh rainfall," he told Anadolu Agency. 

He also said the government runs a number of programs for the farmers so that the impact on production due to less rainfall is minimal.

Indian environmentalist Ravindra Khaiwal noted that India is vulnerable to drought.

“As per official figures, four drought-affected states — West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh — have a less seeded area of 2.5 million hectares (6.2 million acres), which will likely result in a shortfall in the area and production of paddy for the 2022 Kharif season (of about 6%)," he said.

Khaiwal said a recent report by the UN Convention to Combat Desertification titled “Drought in Numbers in 2022” includes India as one of the countries badly affected by drought.

“Numerous locations of India appear on the global list of regions susceptible to drought. Geographically, India's vulnerability to drought is comparable to that of sub-Saharan Africa," he added.


Impact on food security

Rohin Kumar, a senior agriculture campaigner at Greenpeace India, the Indian branch of the global environmental group, told Anadolu Agency that the unprecedented change in "rainfall pattern, droughts and extreme heat are estimated to bring a 20%-35% reduction in crop yields this year."

"It is a stark reminder that India needs to uphold and promote a transition from mono to multi-cropping systems or there will be a direct impact on agriculture and consequently on food and nutritional security," he said.

He said the government must approach food and nutritional security through "strengthening dietary diversity — the promotion of kitchen gardens and nutrition-sensitive agriculture that incorporates extensive livestock systems."

Kumar said instances of extreme weather events and chronic changes in climate systems are expected to increase in the coming years.

“India also needs to create adequate demand and supply of many indigenous grains, vegetables and fruits, where urban communities too step in and support farmers by directly buying from them," he said, adding that long-standing recommendations from the National Food Security Act of 2013 need to be adopted.

Source - https://www.aa.com.tr

26.09.2022

Canada - Crop insurance covers quality loss

The Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) provides coverage against crop damage caused by varying growing and weather conditions. Under the Crop Insurance Multi-Peril Insurance Program, customers are covered against both yield and quality loss. 

26.09.2022

India - No funds for rodenticides, Bathinda farmers stare at crop loss

The Agriculture Department has not provided rodenticides to the farmers in the past two years. As a result, the paddy planted through the DSR method, wheat and sugarcane crop has suffered substantial damage to due to the rodents (rats).

26.09.2022

Greece - ‘Perfect’ grape season foiled by tropical weather near the end

While cultivating this season’s grapes in Greece, everything was set out to be the most perfect season. However, things took a turn later in the season, George Saliaris-Fasseas, founder of Greek Grape Company, explains: “Greek Grape Company cultivates mainly IFG varieties.

26.09.2022

India - Farmers fear crop loss due to waterlogging in Haryana mandis

Waterlogging in grain markets of Haryana due to incessant rains has added to the worries of farmers as they fear loss of their agricultural produce lying in the mandis.

26.09.2022

New banana fungus is rapidly spreading across the globe

A new banana fungus is rapidly spreading across the world. The fungus hit Africa ten years ago, but it is now spreading, according to a genetic study conducted by Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and Utrecht University. According to Plant Pathology Professor Gert Kema and his colleagues, the disease poses a threat to Africa’s food security.

26.09.2022

Spain - Valencia's kaki harvest is expected to fall by more than 55%, generating more than €50 million in losses

"The forecasts for the kaki campaign indicate that the harvest could decrease by 55%. This means producers could stop earning more than 50 million euro in relation to the last year, which wasn't a particularly good year. In June, producers expected a 35% decrease in production.

26.09.2022

Summer heat lowers European tomato production by 14%

It has been a sunny but scorching summer in Europe. That affected the tomato market. High temperatures led to a 14% drop in production. That is according to a September report by the Flemish expert working group and fruit and vegetable management committee.

26.09.2022

India - Relief based on extent of crop loss

Referring to the incessant rain that the state endured recently, causing time serious damage to the agriculture sector, former chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Saturday said the government will suitably compensate for the  crop loss.