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National food security relies on both sufficient food production and food access, and climate change is likely to contribute substantially to food insecurity in the future, by disrupting the availability of food, reducing access to food, and affecting the quality of food. For example, changes in precipitation patterns, changes in extreme weather events (can get in the way of food delivery), projected increases in temperatures (can contribute to contamination and spoilage), and supposed scarcity of water may all result in reduced agricultural productivity. In fact, the unprecedented rise in temperature is what has resulted in increased events of droughts, floods, heatwaves, irregular patterns of precipitation, and other extreme happenings throughout the globe. Rise in food prices after extreme events are expected to be more frequent in the future, and if the trend continues, in very near future crop losses may increase at an unprecedented rate which will significantly contribute to reduced production, spiked food prices, and before even knowing it a time will come when it will become difficult to cope up with rising needs of a growing population.

Stressors such as population growth may just compound the problem by amplifying the effects of climate change in food security. Rise in demand for food due to ever-growing population has already resulted in rigorous agricultural practices including unprecedented use of agro-chemicals, misuse and abuse of water resources, and livestock generation for additional sources of income through meat production and others.

The repercussions of climate change are also noticeable in the high rate of land degradation, which is causing enhanced desertification and nutrient-deficient soils. Unfortunately, the menace of land degradation is increasing every passing day and has been characterized as a major global threat.

Extreme drought conditions- a frequent occurrence due to climate change, further aggravates the productivity of crops by causing nutrient immobilization and salt accumulation in soils making them dry, unhealthy, saline, and finally infertile. Such barren lands become non-arable over a period of time, eventually abandoned by farmers leading to economic losses. Not to mention, climate change has also resulted in increased incidences of floods in the last few years, which have caused a complete washout of topsoil and nutrients from the soil, resulting in low productivity for several years to come, until and unless corrective remediation strategies come into play. Heavy floods in Kerala in 2018 can be cited as a prime example in this context.

The rise in sea levels or widespread presence of heavy rainfall has also resulted in a decline of agricultural lands in the coastal regions, the salinity of soils that have occurred as a consequence in coastal regions has led to stresses in crops such as decreased respiration, photosynthesis and transpiration, eventually threatening food availability and security in such regions.
All these disturbances arising out of climate change will not only affect the safety and quality, but also food access, thus leading to rise in humanitarian concerns due to the interrelation between food security and public health, and ultimately will create a vicious cycle of hunger, diseases, and crime.

Executing and adapting to actions/policies to mitigate the effects caused by climate variability is the need of the hour, which can only be achieved by adopting a climate-smart agriculture system in keeping with the government’s vision of Sustainable Food and Agriculture goals.

Here are some techniques that will build resilience on our farms and in our food supply as we face the challenges ahead:

Efficient Irrigation Management- Conserving water use is vital to any farm, especially in times of drought. Water- and climate-wise there are many water saving methods farmers can resort to- from using drip irrigation, planting cover crops, to dry farming, and more.

Organic Practices- The industrialization of agriculture has led to increased reliance on petroleum-based pesticides, herbicides, and chemical fertilizers in conventional farming. Adopting natural farming methods would prohibit most synthetic inputs, which means reduced GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions, as well as cleaner soil, water, and food. Furthermore, natural farming techniques bring additional benefits for farmers, such as increased soil health and fertility, which leads to additional climate-friendly benefits.

Increasing Soil Health- Carbon farming is a crucial sustainable practice that shows great potential for alleviating and even helping to reverse the effects of climate change. The practice of carbon farming involves changing agricultural practices or land use to increase the amount of carbon stored in the soil and vegetation (sequestration) and to reduce GHG emissions from livestock, soil, or vegetation (avoidance).

Plants through photosynthesis serve as carbon sinks to draw CO2 out of the atmosphere, which(about 40 percent of that carbon) then gets deposited into the soil, where it feeds microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes, which, in turn, give mineral nutrients to the plants, providing a natural fertilizer. This process of carbon sequestration can be supported by farmers by increasing plant matter and building soil fertility through practices such as compost application, reduced or no-till cultivation, and planting cover crops.

Pushing for Climate-Friendly Policies- On the ground, there are several ways to encourage climate-friendly farming. However, it will take major policy changes to reduce the damage of climate change and build climate resilience. SANF GREENMENS PVT LTD stands with climate-wise farmers to protect our future by urging our authorities to take action now.

Farmers can play a major role in the implementation of the ecological goals, which is very important now in light of the dynamic climatic conditions in India (climate is changing day-by-day, hour-by-hour and even minute-by-minute), that is why SANF GREENMENS PVT LTD has been working tirelessly in sensitizing farmers to sustainable technologies and activities so as to combat the impact of climate change and ensure food security not only for humans but for other living beings as well by enhancing agri-production through natural farming methods.

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