Climate change: India loses $10 billion every year, says report
Environmental deviations are costing India almost about $10 billion each year and if the conditions severe, the agricultural sector is expected to take a bigger hit by 2020.
Unless the country and its farmers adapt to the challenges posed by climate change, India could become an importer of oilseed, pulses and milk, the Agriculture Ministry has warned in its recent report to a parliamentary committee.
Experts opine that if the farming community does not move on with the business as usual approach, it will have to suffer a major loss due to rising temperature and uneven distribution of rainfall.
The challenge is particularly urgent for Indian agriculture where productivity for crops like rice does not compare even with neighbours like China. The possibility of a further dip due to climate change will be particularly worrying as it could turn India into a major importer of milk and pulses. By 2030, it may need 65 million tonnes more of foodgrains than the expected production in 2016-17, reports ToI.
Currently, India incurs losses of about US$ 9-10 billion annually due to extreme weather events. Of these, nearly 80% losses remain uninsured". It pointed out that the 2014 floods in Kashmir cost more than $15 billion and Cyclone Hudhud the same year cost $11 billion.
Extreme weather events are not always linked to climate change but research shows that their frequency and severity is increasing and this is being increasingly read as being a fallout of climate change.
The ministry, in its submission, noted that though most crops will see reduced production in a business as usual' scenario, climate change may help improve yields of soya bean, chickpea, groundnut, coconut (in western coast) and potato (in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh).
By 2030, the country's food grain consumption may increase by 65 million tonnes, according to reports.