According to worldwide population figures, India's population will reach 1.38 billion in 2020, accounting for 17.7 percent of the world's population. Since independence, the country's population has expanded 3.35 times; by 2027, it will have surpassed China to become the world's most populous country.
Despite this, India accounts for only 2.4% of world land. According to the most recent agricultural census, the average size of landholding per state is 1.08 hectares. Farmers in half of Indian states are marginal (owning less than one hectare of land); the remainder are small farmers (land holdings of 1-2 ha).
Agriculture is the primary source of income for around 58% of India's population. Other natural resource-based businesses are also the backbone of the country's economic prosperity.
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To keep up with the country's population and wealth growth, food production must double by 2050. As a result, small and marginal farmers play a critical role in the country's food security and achievement of the SDGs.
Climate change and its influence in the form of extreme weather events is one of the most pressing challenges for a country's food security. Crop productions are projected to suffer as a result of the predicted 1-2.5 degree Celsius temperature rise by 2030. High temperatures can shorten crop duration, alter photosynthesis, increase crop respiration rates, and influence pest population.
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It’s because of the sudden change in climate that accelerates nutrient mineralization, reduces fertiliser use efficiency (FUE), and increases soil evapotranspiration.
Climate change has an impact on crop, water, and soil because it affects water availability, modifies the intensity and frequency of drought, affects microbial populations, reduces soil organic matter, reduces yield, depletes soil fertility due to soil erosion, and so on.
Various Effects of Climate Change:
South countries, from the Himalayas to the coasts, must be prepared to combat the effects of global warming. As previously predicted, South Asian regions may experience a warming effect of 2-6°C in the twenty-first century. Carbon dioxide concentrations are high, reaching up to 410 parts per million, and are the primary cause of global warming.
States like Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Western Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Southern Gujarat, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and southern Bihar are constantly plagued by dryness since they are drought-prone (Bhadwal et al, 2007). Because of the 2008 floods, millions of people in Bihar were forced to remain in shelters. Kerala saw one of the worst floods of 2018. In 2019, India and its neighbouring nations had a severe heat wave from mid-May to mid-June.
Chiru in Rajasthan registered 50.8°C, the hottest temperature in India in 2016. Thermal expansion of a hotter ocean accounts for a significant portion of sea-level rise (as much as 0.3-0.8 metres over the past century).
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Salinity is a major driver of environmental change and a constant stressor in coastal areas, often as a result of protracted storm and tidal surge flooding. It is also expected that the negative consequences of soil and inland water salinity will worsen when global sea-level rise and other hydrological changes take effect.
Agriculture sub-sectors and the effect of climate change on it:
Cultivation procedures are entirely determined by climatic conditions. Crop yields in South Asian countries are expected to fall by 30% by the mid-twentieth century on average. In India, for example, a 1.5°C increase in temperature and a 2 mm decrease in precipitation can lower rice yield by 3 to 15%.
Apricot, apple and cherry trees are affected by sunburn and cracking caused by high temperatures. The increase in temperature during the ripening period causes fruit burning and cracking in litchi plantations.
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Heat stress is more susceptible in breeds with higher metabolic heat output, whereas low milk producing animals are resistant.
Keeping these problems in mind, the Government of India, Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have developed a number of proactive policies at the village level.