How Climate Change Affects Food Security in India
According to the Policy of Global Food Report 2022, climate change could cause widespread famine in India by 2030 as a result of decreased agricultural output and disruptions in the food supply chain.
Our food system is one of the extensively important things that climate change will affect. It has an impact on both how we produce and consume food. India, which has a mostly agrarian economy, is particularly affected, with repercussions that extend throughout the whole food production chain. One of the most seductive days in recent memory occurred on Sunday when the mercury reached 49 degrees Celcius in various regions of northern India. There are many different ways that the ongoing heat wave has harmed agriculture and food security. It caused significant damage to the wheat crop and harmed the food supply, driving up the cost of wheat products dramatically.
Wheat suffers a loss in both quality and quantity since, in addition to having a low result, the grain is also of a poor rate. When considering food security, it is important to keep in mind that both food quantity and nutritional value are important.
In the last three decades, there has been an increase in the commonness of extreme rainfall circumstances as well as a rise in the mean temperature across all of India. The production of important crops varies as a result in different years.
Under the National Innovations in Climate change Resilient Agriculture program, the effects of climate change on Indian agriculture were investigated (NICRA). In India, it is anticipated that irrigated rice yields will increase by seven percent in 2050 and ten percent in 2080 scenarios, while rainfed rice yields will decrease somewhat (2.5% in each scenario). Additionally, maize yields are predicted to drop by 18–23% and wheat yields by 6-25% in 2100. Future weather conditions should improve chickpea productivity (23-54%).
Food security in India is increasingly at risk.
According to the International Food Policy Makers Research Institute’s Global Food Policy Report 2022, climate change could cause many Indians to go hungry by 2030 as a result of decreased agricultural output and disruptions in the food supply chain.
According to the estimate, by 2030, hunger would affect 17 million residents in India, the highest number of any nation, and around 65 million people worldwide. According to the analysis, 50 crore Indians will still be at risk of going starving even though global food output may rise by 60% by 2050. Seven crores of these fifty crore individuals would go hungry as a result of climate change.
The report noted that increased temperatures, altered precipitation patterns, sea level rise, and an increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events like droughts, cyclones, extreme heat, and floods are already lowering agricultural productivity, upsetting food supply chains, and displacing communities.
Another indication of the heatwave’s domino effect is India’s recent prohibition on wheat exports. To organize its food security, India announced on May 13 that it will halt the export of wheat. The price of wheat, which had already increased due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a significant exporter of wheat, reached 435 Euros ($453) per tonne, having the greatest impact on developing nations.
The G-7 countries’ agriculture ministers have criticized India’s action, but it is an endeavor by the Indian government to curb the soaring domestic wheat prices brought on by this year’s poor harvest.
This is the first occurrence of such a widespread influence on the yield in the last 15 years, and, significantly, India had a healthy wheat harvest throughout all those warmer years in the previous decade. Due to the fall in wheat production, market prices are now significantly higher than the (MSP) Minimum Supply Price, which has led farmers to choose private companies over the government. Additionally, the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojna wheat portion allocated to states and union territories has already been decreased by the federal government, and no wheat has been allocated to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, or Kerala under the program.
A networking initiative called NICRA was started in 2011 by the ( ICAR) Indian Council of Agricultural Research to explore how climate change may affect Indian agriculture. An (HLMC) High-Level Monitoring Committee chaired by the secretary of DARE and the director general of ICAR is now reviewing the NICRA project along with invited representatives from several governments of India ministries. This committee suggests actions to be performed by NICRA to increase the adaptability of Indian agriculture to changing climatic conditions. Additionally, an expert committee reviews the project and offers guidance on many topics regularly.