With acute climate change year after year, our agriculture sector is falling victim to climate change.
Steadily rising temperatures, prolonged droughts and erratic rainfall are threatening crop yields and livelihoods. Environmental experts have warned that the trend is likely to worsen as climate change proceeds.
The situation has alerted us including authorities concerned, farmers and investors to seek “climate-smart” technologies, irrigation with the solar-powered river-water pumping system to ensure that the climate-change induced severe weather events do no impact the agriculture sector.
Besides, the situation has rung alarm bells and brought into focus the need to fundamentally rethink our current agricultural pattern, water usage, and food systems.
Agronomists say that irrigation boosts yields to between twice and four times the levels of rain-fed agriculture. Our country owns a plenty of water resources, rivers and lakes. But the water is not always available in right place or at the right time.
The climate is prompting us to carry out a ‘massive’ adaptation and we need to meet this challenge with urgency and resolve.
Hence, we must encourage investment in irrigation systems “climate-smart technologies” as it could be an important part of the solution not only to a shortfall in productivity in the sector but also for drinking water shortage of cattle of the livestock breeding sector.
Meanwhile, we need to promote crop diversification, commercial horticulture and reducing post-harvest losses to help smallholder farmers who are facing a climate crisis.
We must encourage more efficient use of irrigation water with the use of drip-watering systems and solar-powered water pumps for farmers. Only then, can our farmers reduce their centuries-old dependence on rain.
Due to the impact of climate change, farmers have recorded lower output from rain-fed paddy fields. Hence, farmers have now pinned their hopes on summer crops, especially summer paddy, grown using irrigation water.
Farmers are confident that cultivation using irrigation water, which is considered a nutrient for paddy plants, will ensure a high yield.
Facing a climate crisis, authorities, environmental groups and industry need to work together to improve our country’s irrigation system with “climate-smart” technologies.