Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Big impact of climate change on India's farm yields: World Bank

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Dryland farmers in Andhra Pradesh may see their incomes decline by 20 percent, the sugarcane yield in Maharashtra may go down 30 percent, and there may be much more flooding in the Orissa coast, says a new World Bank report.

Pointing out that this will have a serious impact in a country where 57 percent of the people are directly dependent on agriculture, the report, Climate Change Impacts in Drought-and Flood-Affected Areas: Case Studies in India, says the country can improve its resilience to climate change through a combination of measures and right incentives aimed at multiple levels of government.

The report, the first of its kind in South Asia, was released here Monday. It looks at options of adaptation to climate change in two drought-prone regions of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra and a flood-prone region in Orissa.

“Although climate change impacts may take decades to manifest, there is a need for action now to avoid higher future costs and missed opportunities associated with a development path that compromises on climate risk management,” said Richard Damania, environmental economist in the World Bank and leader of the study.

“For example, the report says incomes on the small rain-fed farms in Andhra Pradesh could decline by five percent under modest climate change and by over 20 percent under harsher conditions, bringing farmers closer to, and in many cases, under the poverty line.

“Many of the actions and policies that would build future climate resilience produce development benefits here and now. Focussing on these measures would thus yield a double dividend for development and climate sustainability.”

At the release of the report, acknowledging the need for action, J. Mauskar, additional secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forests, said: “This report endorses our approach and shows the way forward in addressing future problems.” …

Big impact of climate change on India's farm yields: World Bank.

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