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Climate Change and Agroecosystems in the Hill and Mountain Regions of Northeast India

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Sustainable Food Value Chain Development

Abstract

The North-eastern region (NER) of India is known globally for its rich biodiversity but is also witnessing very high rate of species loss. Although it occupies only about 8% of India’s total land area and 3.8% of the population, it is home to about 37% of the cultivated crop types of India. The traditional shifting cultivation (locally called Jhum) is the predominant form of agroecosystem in the hills and mountainous terrain of the region. The main crop is rice, occupying more than 60% of the cropping area. In fact, in certain states like Nagaland and Mizoram, Jhum rice comprises of more than 75% of the cropping area and it is mostly grown during the monsoon season. Therefore, agriculture in the region has high dependence on monsoon precipitation. Several studies have reported significant climate change in the NER; the rainfall has become more erratic; increasing occurrences of seasonal drought; and frequent delays in the monsoon affecting the rice cultivation in the region. The region is highly vulnerable to climate change. Climate change is therefore an area of concern in the region, especially for the climate sensitive rainfed agriculture; any changes in the monsoon rainfall is likely to have serious implications for the agricultural crops. In addition, increase in heavy rainfall has led to landslides and floods during the monsoon season that affects the food supply chain and the market mechanism in the region. This chapter presents a detailed analysis of the impact of climate change on agroecosystems in the hill and mountain regions of Northeast India. The chapter is divided into various sections that describes the nature and magnitude of exposure of agroecosystems to climate change in the region, impacts and key vulnerabilities. It identifies the bio-physical and socio-economic factors that makes the agroecosystems vulnerable to climate change in the region. Addressing these vulnerability factors is essential in ensuring the sustainability of agriculture and agri-based livelihoods in the region and will contribute towards the realization of the various Sustainable Development Goals.

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Jamir, C., Kapoor, C., Jagannath, P. (2023). Climate Change and Agroecosystems in the Hill and Mountain Regions of Northeast India . In: Narula, S.A., Raj, S.P. (eds) Sustainable Food Value Chain Development. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-19-6454-1_3

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