Climate Change and Food Security in India

Posted: 2012-12-20

More than 55% of India’s population is practicing agriculture in climate sensitive areas; 53% of the area suffers from serious degradation; 30 million hectares of land experience haphazard grazing and the fall in per capita availability of water is 70 percentage points.

These figures were presented in a review of the policy framework in India on the National Action Plan for Climate Change, National Water Policy, National Forest Policy and the National Environment Policy at a GWP India organized consultation on “Climate Change Adaptation in Water Management for Food Security: Recent Developments in South Asia (in context of India) ” on 22nd November 2012.

A grim picture of the risk that climate change poses for food security as well as for employment, income and environmental sustainability was depicted at the meeting of 20 participants. Evidence was provided for the major mismatch between water supply and water demand for agriculture. Some regions, e.g. Eastern India, are abundant in both surface water and groundwater but remains agriculturally backward. In many areas groundwater is the only source of irrigation but it is over exploited and is affected by frequent drought. Glimpses of innovations and technological advances in the water sector, which holds promise for the future, were also presented.

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