Include climate change in development planning: agri cong

The 13th Agricultural Science Congress passed a declaration recommending a set of measures, including framing of a national water policy and inclusion of climate change in development planning, to address problems affecting the farm sector.

Announcing the declaration at the valedictory programme of the congress on Friday, S Ayyapan, retired director general of ICAR, said the future of farming will depend on how effectively we respond to climate change.

The declaration noted that small and marginal farmers are more vulnerable to problems caused by climate change and stressed the need for an assessment to enable policies to protect them.

“The assessment should be documented to facilitate informed decision making,” it said. It said genetic enhancement of field and horticultural crops is key to deal with the challenges. It favoured precision farming and efficient technology to deliver water and nutrients to reduce emissions besides pressing for prudent water management.

Noting that global warming will also impact livestock, poultry and fisheries, the congress has recommended initiation of national livestock improvement programme.

Union Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation D V Sadananda Gowda said the government would actively consider the recommendation to increase research on agro-ecology, soil conservation and waste recycling, biodiversity and other key issues.

Citing a study, the minister said that by 2050, the world needs to increase its production by 50% to meet the increase in demand. “Right now, we are facing severe drought. Karnataka has not received normal rainfall in the last five-six years. It explains why we have to consider these recommendations seriously,” he said.
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