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Climate Change and Food Security in India: Adaptation Strategies and Major Challenges

  • Atanu SarkarEmail author
  • Arindam Dasgupta
  • Suman Ranjan Sensarma
Chapter

Abstract

India has made rapid strides in improving food production and the country has become not only self-sufficient in food production, but now exports to several other countries as well. However, climate change has emerged as a major threat to India’s hard-earned success. Much of India’s population depends on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture, forestry, and fishing, and thus the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people are at risk. In fact, the country has already witnessed adverse impacts of climate change on food production, transportation, storage, and distribution. Rising temperatures, erratic rainfall, extreme weather conditions (such as prolonged droughts and floods), changing soil fertility, and new pest infestations are major factors contributing to stagnant agricultural growth. “Climate-smart agriculture” is considered a pragmatic approach to ensuring food security in a changing climate. Adaptation strategies based on the principles of climate-smart agriculture can counter the impacts of climate change, such as the promotion of conservation agriculture, the sustainable management of natural resources and the promotion of climate-smart crops. However, the existing problems of transboundary water conflict, universal insurance of crops, the significant reduction in food wastage needed and the improvement of food distribution are essential to achieving the goals for adaptation. It is also important to note that ready acceptance of “climate-smart agriculture” by farmers cannot be expected, even if the necessary technologies are made accessible to them. Rather, more community-based participatory research is needed to explore socioeconomic and location-specific variables that are influencing farmers’ preferences towards the approach.

Keywords

Climate change Food security India Conservation agriculture Climate-smart crops Food wastage Public distribution of food Crop insurance 

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Atanu Sarkar
    • 1
    Email author
  • Arindam Dasgupta
    • 2
  • Suman Ranjan Sensarma
    • 3
  1. 1.Division of Community Health and Humanities, Faculty of MedicineMemorial UniversitySt. John’sCanada
  2. 2.Post-Graduate Department of GeographyChandernagore CollegeHugliIndia
  3. 3.Government AdvisoryInfrastructure and Government Services (IGS), KPMGNew DelhiIndia

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