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Climate change challenges: Knowledge-based cultivation crucial for agri production in J&K

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Srinagar, Feb 27 (IANS) Nature shapes every creature and it is impossible to remain insulated from modifications when the climate is changing globally. Even the famous saffron and walnuts of Kashmir could not escape this law of nature. Only knowledge, attitude and practice — these three steps are crucial to bring in a positive result.

Jammu & Kashmir, with its immense potential for the productivity, quality, and expansion of horticulture crops such as saffron and walnuts, can act as a catalyst for the growth of these crops in India.

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The results achieved would be beneficial not only for these agricultural production sectors, but it could also serve as a model for other parts of the world to adapt to climate change with the right policies and measures adopted in its cultivation and production to counter the effects brought on by climate change.

Jammu and Kashmir is a region enriched with various agricultural production, which is also the predominant sector of its economy, supporting nearly 80 per cent of the population. Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh are the three agro-climatic zones; each has its own unique geo-climatic conditions that influence cropping patterns and productivity (J&K Development Report).

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Climate change has brought in significant changes in the production and quality of these crops and in the lives of farmers who rely on these crops’ produce. According to the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Government of Jammu and Kashmir’s Annual publication 2013-14, climate change has affected the production of major crops in the region such as rice, maize, wheat, barley, pulses, and oilseeds, along with various fruits.

The low precipitation and high temperature due to the rapid increase in the temperature due to climate change have brought down the produce and market of horticulture crops.

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Two horticulture crops — saffron and walnut — are suffering due to the adverse impact of climate change.

Pampore, a small town known as India’s “saffron town/capital”, has suffered badly due to climate change. Jammu and Kashmir is the major production state of walnut in India, but its production has decreased due to the region’s high temperature and less rainfall.

Comprehensive knowledge of the causes and management strategies for various physiological disorders in tropical and subtropical fruits will not only help fruit growers produce higher-quality fruit, but it will also help researchers come up with new ways to control these disorders through biotechnological interventions, breeding strategies, or understanding the physiological basis to overcome them.

The threat of climate change can be converted by innovative research methods in agriculture, such as the development of heat-tolerant cultivars and adjustment in production system management.

To overcome the challenges and issues brought in the agricultural sector by climate change, from sensitisation and awareness on the topic to innovative research & technology can be helpful and bring back the lost production and quality of a crop.

Once the knowledge is gained and passed on, all the stakeholders involved, from the local community to policymakers, adopt a certain acknowledgment attitude. Everyone involved would then do the practice of adapting to new changes and bringing in the new methods adopted to counter/reduce the effect of climate change damage on these crops.

Acknowledging the adversarial effect of climate change on agricultural production should be the first step in overcoming the challenges. Once we recognise the differences, we will be at a better stage to develop the solutions. Getting stakeholders’ attention to the growing challenges can help establish policies and measures that can produce desirable results when implemented efficiently and effectively. The best methods such as greenhouse technologies, and developing heat-tolerant measures could save the agriculture and horticulture crops. Still, acknowledging the issues and challenges posed by climate change is essential before these practices.



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Ananya Panday

Himanshi Khurana

Avika Gor

Kriti Sanon

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