Climate change and sustainable food security

Publication Type:

Special Publications



NIAS; ICAR, Number SP4-2013, Bangalore;New Delhi (2013)



India has undergone a series of ups and downs in agricultural production with the climatic conditions playing havoc in the years of abnormality. We faced many droughts in 18th and 19th centuries without much know how to counterfeit their impacts. With the launch of Green Revolution (GR) in the late middle years of 20th century, India has improved its position in food grain production with technological interventions. The States of Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh could make use of GR technologies like high yielding varieties of rice and wheat, use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, irrigation facilities etc. and made enormous progress in food production. Currently, agroecosystems are facing the problems of overexploitation of natural resources, decline in soil fertility, ground water level and agricultural productivity. Hence, ensuring sustainable food security is the need of the hour. As per the statement of Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industries, Government of India (March, 2013), India?s productivity of rice (3590 kg/ha) is lower than China (6686 kg/ha), Bangladesh (4219 kg) and Myanmar (4081 kg). Whereas India?s productivity of wheat (1661kg) is lower than China (4838 kg) in 2011. China performed better in the productivity of coarse grains (5470 kg) and pulses (1533 kg) when compared to India which stood at 1591 kg and 699 kg respectively. India?s per hectare production of pulses is the lowest when compared to its six neighbours - Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Myanmar, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Besides all our efforts to enhance agricultural productivity through a huge network of institutions, we are still lagging behind due to numerous problems that are inherent in our system. At present, our aim should be to enhance the agricultural productivity without causing much damage to the natural resources and production environment. This calls for a stringent action to evolve varieties and technologies/innovations which can enhance the production/productivity of agricultural crops under changing climatic scenarios. This is possible through some innovative techniques like inducing C4ness in rice, developing multiple resistant cultivars through MAGIC (multiparent advanced generation intercross), development of super hybrids, application of GIS/Remote sensing technologies, nanotechnology, crop modeling etc.. All the new generation technologies require policy support for their development as well as adoption for harnessing their full potential benefits. At the same time, the institutions involved in research, extension activities, development departments, banking, planning and execution should all come together and work in coherence to make this a successful venture. This book contains lead papers from distinguished experts, policy makers and dedicated researchers. Efforts are made to compile the latest information on present agricultural scenario in India in comparison with other developed and developing nations and also the major problems faced by Indian agriculture, types of innovations required in research, policy and institutional set up to meet the ever increasing demands for food and nutritional security. It also emphasizes the steps to be taken up by various stakeholders involved in the agricultural production scenario to make agriculture a profitable proposition, without causing much damage to the natural environment. It also covers the important measures to be adopted for creating interest among youth for agriculture and to improve their livelihood security through various interventions by public and private sectors. We hope that this book would be of immense use to researchers in planning their future line of research, for policy makers to take rational decisions on Indian agriculture which would benefit farmers as well as consumers by protecting the soil and environmental quality, for students and general public to have a wealth of information on agriculture in India. It must be mentioned here that while the scholarly papers included in this volume do help enrich the readers? understanding on the issues related to the climate change and sustainable food security, the views expressed by the authors in their respective papers are their own and the editors do not necessarily subscribe to them. We thank all the contributors to this volume. Our special thanks are due to Dr.V.S. Ramamurthy, Director, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS) Bangalore, Dr. Ajay Parida, Executive Director, M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) Chennai, Dr. Parveen Arora, Adviser (Sc- F), Department of Science & Technology, Government of India (GOI), New Delhi, Dr. A. Arunachalam, Principal Scientific Officer to Director General, ICAR, GOI, New Delhi for their support and encouragement at every stage of its preparation. We are very grateful to Ms. G. F. Aiyasha, Mrs. Mariyammal, Mr.Thomas K.Varghese and Dr. K. Manorama for their kind involvement and contribution.