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Climate change to alter Karnataka crop patterns by 2035: Study

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Crops that can thrive in high CO2 atmosphere will see an increase in yields by 2035. So, while major crops like rice, ragi, groundnut, soybean and red gram will falter, cotton and sugarcane output will rise, leading to a market glut.  

Climate change to alter Karnataka crop patterns by 2035: Study
The climate crisis will change the agricultural landscape in Karnataka by 2035 and increase the risk of a market glut, a latest study has said.
While major crops such as rice, ragi, groundnut, soybean and red gram will witness a drop in yield, other crops like cotton and sugarcane will see yields increasing, the vulnerability assessment by Professor H.S. Shivaramu, Dean of Horticulture College in Kolar, showed.
Shivaramu, who is also the former head of agrometeorology in the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bengaluru, used a crop simulation method for the study.
Crops that can thrive in high carbon-dioxide atmosphere will see an increase in yields in 2035 compared to the current yields. These are crops grown on soil with moisture-retaining qualities. So, the productivity of cotton, maize, chickpea and sugarcane will increase 55.6 percent, 24.5 percent, 13.5 percent and 6.1 percent, respectively.
On the other hand, productivity of rice will fall 5.6 percent in 2035, the study showed. Other crops like sorghum, soybean, red gram, ragi and groundnut will also see loss in productivity.
“That the yield of some crops goes up may not be the bright side of the issue. Several problems may crop up. As some crops thrive, more farmers may adopt them, leading to a glut in the market. We are staring at a future where the diversity of crops is eroded and the cope-up mechanism of the farmers can’t withstand the weather extremes,” Shivaramu told Deccan Herald.
A glut in the market occurs when there is an excess of supply of a product.
The study used data on soil properties, crop yield from the Union Agriculture Ministry for the period 2001 to 2018, climate data (1981-2018) from the IMD, and rainfall projections provided by IISc for the period between 2021 and 2050.
The study says the government should adopt more weather-based cropping pattern and work on flood adaptation and agrometeorology services to conserve soil health. The current practices of crop diversification, drip irrigation and groundwater recharging are some of the good mitigation measures adopted by the farmers in Karnataka.
 
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