Will climate change bring back the age of famines in Kashmir?

Source(s): Down To Earth

A quick glance at government data shows that climate change has eaten into the output of top food crops in Jammu and Kashmir

By Bilal Bashir Bhat


With changes in rainfall patterns, farmers face dual threats from flooding and drought. Both extremes can destroy food crops. Flooding washes away fertile topsoil that farmers depend on for productivity, while droughts dry it out, making it more easily blown or washed away. Higher temperatures increase crops’ water needs, making them even more vulnerable during dry periods.


Changes in climatic conditions are causing expansion of the normal range of pests leading to occurrence of more diseases in crops and ultimately resulting in the decreasing production of food crops.


As a matter of fact, Kashmir, which used to produce sufficient agriculture produce like rice or wheat, is now meagrely producing these cereals and if the change of climate continues at the same pace, Kashmir will very soon be importing every bit of the food, which the people of Kashmir will consume from the neighbouring states. 


The changing climate will create havoc in future if the same trend continues. With increasing water crisis, population explosion and climate change, the import of grains is going to be an uphill task in future and will further widen the already stressed fiscal deficit.


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