Cultivating more millets to make food production climate resilient in India

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Full article by Davis et. al. @WaterPortal PC: Wikimedia Commons

A study finds that selectively increasing coarse grains/millets in crop production can greatly help in reducing the negative impacts of climate shocks on future food production in India

Crop production is highly influenced by the sensitivity of crops to variations in climate and can have major implications for food supply and rural livelihoods. The effects of climate change are increasing in India, where extreme rainfall events have become more frequent and spatially more variable. On the other hand, there has also been an increase in the severity and frequency of droughts.

This unpredictability and uneven distribution of rainfall and rising temperatures are feared to adversely impact the yields of major crops in the country. Thus, devising measures to buffer crop production against these stresses are a critical aspect of climate change adaptation in India.

India’s cropping systems dominated by rice and wheat

Rice is mainly grown during the monsoon (kharif) season and wheat during the winter (rabi) season, in the rice-wheat dominated cropping system in India.

The share of grain production contributed by rice and wheat has continued to grow, from 65% in the year 1966 to 85% in the year 2011. Rice accounts for 44% of annual grain production and 73% of grain production during the monsoon (kharif) season while maize, pearl millet, sorghum and finger millet often referred to as alternative grains/coarse grains/millets contribute the remaining portions of monsoon grain production (Davis et al, 2019).



Posted on

November 13, 2019

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