In stark variance to the prevailing optimistic scenario,Madhya Pradesh is likely to register a substantial decline in the yield of its mega crops soybean and wheat over the next two decades. The projection has been made in an Indo-UK collaborative research study,whose key findings were made public in Bhopal last week.
Conducted in four districts,the study projected that wheat productivity was likely to decline by 14 to 20 per cent and the yield between18 and 23 per cent by the year 2030.
Even soybean,where MP accounts for a lions share in the country,is likely to witness a decline between 14 and 17 per cent,and the yield between 16 and 24 per cent. The climate change will also affect the maturity duration of these crops.
The projections run roughshod over the success story of wheat in the recent times. MP procured a huge surplus of wheat over the last two seasons and could hardly find storage space leading to spillage and wastage. MPs next years target is six million MT wheat in the next season,a far cry from the times when the procurement figures did not even reach one million.
Similarly,soybean acreage has been highest this season though excess rains might take its toll the yield is likely to be substantial.
But MP was chosen for the study,the only other state being Orissa,because its counted one among the states most vulnerable to adverse impacts of climate change given its predominant agrarian economy,large forested areas and tribal population. Natural calamities like drought,floods and hailstorm are a common occurrence in MP. The state is extremely low on adaptive capacity that compounds its high physical vulnerability.
The study was led by New Delhi-based Development Alternatives and carried out in association with Environment Planning and Coordination Organisation (EPCO,an MP government body) and UK-based Stockholm Environment Institute.
The situation is not very alarming yet but there is a cause for concern, DAs senior programme manager Anand Kumar told The Indian Express. Climate change impacts are not exact so there could be some variations.
Ujjain and Dhar districts in Malwa region were chosen for the soybean study while Tikamgarh and Datia districts in Bundelkhand region were chosen for the study on wheat crop.
The figures are a cause for major worry because between 65 and 70 per cent of the states population of more than 7.20 crore depends on agriculture. The concern is aggravated by MPs high poverty levels and the fact that the average land holding is less than two acres.
The study carried over the last two years,recommends resource-efficient farming practices,drip irrigation,watershed development as adaptation measures to mitigate the impact of climate change.
The study recommends validation of traditional practices with scientific knowledge and measures like changing the sowing dates and a shift to less water-consuming variety of crops. The final report will be submitted next year.
The climate cell coordinator of EPCO Lokendra Thakkar said the studys findings will be incorporated in the states Action Plan on Climate Change.