Agriculture in the face of climate change

By TAFE Corporate

September 5, 2019

Read Time : 5 Mins

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Agriculture is an indispensable industry that ensures the survival of mankind and sustenance of life on planet earth. It is also an important contributor to the economy of a country. The crops, livestock, and fisheries that are produced makeup for a measure larger than we realize. Agriculture vastly depends on the weather and climatic conditions of that region. Changes in the frequency and severity of droughts and floods pose challenges for farmers worldwide. Overall, climate change could make it more difficult to grow crops and raise animals in the same ways and in the same places as we have done in the past.

Agriculture and climate change are interdependent and they influence each other in various ways. Agriculture is a major contributor to global warming and climate change, which in turn, influences the agricultural output of a country or region in vast measure. Climate change is likely to contribute substantially to food insecurity in the coming years, by increasing prices and reducing production.

Despite climate change being hard on agriculture, there are many measures that farmers can adapt in order to overcome this challenge.

Efficient Irrigation Management

Conserving water is important for any farm. Given that the majority of energy use on farms is from groundwater pumping, effective water management would certainly help reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Farmers can use methods such as drip irrigation, planting cover crops and dry farming in order to irrigate their crops smartly without overusing the resources available.

Using Renewable Energy

Taking energy efficiency to the maximum and moving away from fossil fuels are some important steps farms can take to decrease their climatic footprints. This includes the usage of on-farm renewable energy production (wind turbines, solar panels, etc.) and minimizing the use of fuel-based fertilizers and pesticides. Reducing the dependence of fossil fuel inputs for farming, storage and transportation of crops are also some basic measures a farmer could take.

Organic farming practices

Organic farming excludes synthetic inputs, leading to reduced emissions, as well as cleaner soil, water and food. Organic and sustainable techniques bring a lot of benefits for farmers, such as higher profitability, reduced usage of water, promoting animal health and welfare, increased soil health and fertility, which further lead to additional climate-friendly benefits.

Green Agriculture

Land management practices like reforestation, permaculture, agroforestry, restoring barren lands and planting perennial plants serve benefits such as providing shelter for wildlife, beautifying farms, attracting insects for pollination and natural pest control. Trees, shrubs, and other vegetation also store carbon in their biomass, protect the soil from erosion, and conserve water.

Reducing Livestock Methane Emissions

Methane emissions from cows and dairy livestock are the primary source of global warming through agriculture. Healthy pasture-based livestock management through practices like rotational grazing can help to reduce this impact.

Climate change has started to affect every basic aspect of our life. But as the saying goes, modern problems require modern solutions. There are a number of technologies that can make agriculture easier, safer and healthier.

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