Effect of climate change mainly flooding a major issue for crop production in Pakistan
By: Fareeha waheed
Climate is the average weather condition of a particular area in general or over a long period of time. Rainfall, temperature, humidity and wind are different components of climate. Climate change is a process that occurs naturally and it depends on changing conditions of temperature, rainfall, humidity etc. burning fossil fuels, volcanic eruption, deforestation and emission of green house gases are main causes of climate change. Climate change is posing a serious threat to all economic sectors around the world, particularly the agriculture sector because of its high dependency. Due to frequent changes in climate, agriculture food production and quality are expected to change. Moreover, rapidly growing population increase the pressure on global food supply chain.
In Pakistan, frequent changes in atmosphere have directly brought severe negative effects on food production which reflects significant economic and traditional loss. Today Pakistan is considered one of ten countries in the world to be considered seriously threatened by climate change. Climate change causes an increase in temperature and irregular rain fall patterns, therefore, triggering negative impacts on major cereal crops and resulting in poor productivity and quality.
Nowadays flooding due to climate change is a major issue for yielding crop production. Flooding can be caused by heavy rainfall and melting snow and above average rainfall resulting in widespread flooding can severely impact on crop production. The agriculture sector remains under attack by the consistent flooding in Pakistan as flooding sweeping away crops and livelihood opportunities, thus dragging the already vulnerable communities to poverty. Harvest can be delayed, crops can be submerged and killed. Flooding creates many problems such as waterlogged soil (water in soil) are low in oxygen, as oxygen between soil particles is replaced by water. Oxygen is essential for healthy root growth and lack of oxygen in soils overtime results root and eventually plant death. Floods not only can make a field unsuitable for planting, but it also ruins crops that have already been harvested.
Crops which are most effected by flooding are cotton, rice, sugarcane in Pakistan because Pakistan is a major producer of rice and cotton and keep in mind that Pakistan is world’s fifth-largest cotton producer and both crops have been damaged. The impact of 2022 flood on Pakistan’s agriculture has been devastating, resulting in loss of essential crops and their values and productivity. And now our country is facing an unprecedented food security crisis. Nationally, if we talk about Sindh province of Pakistan accounts for 42% of the rice production,23% of the cotton production, and 31% of the sugarcane production. Flooded fields could prevent or delay planting of Pakistan’s wheat crop, which takes place in October and November. Pakistan is a major wheat producer also, primarily for domestic consumption and a smaller upcoming crop could heighten the country’s need for imports. And vegetables crops like tomatoes, onion and chili are also effected by floods in sindh province of Pakistan and loss is approximately 374 million dollar. The direct crop loss to flood damage is 2.3 billion dollars according to an estimate.
Reduce emission and take actions to save forests are also help helpful to overcome climate change and their effects. To overcome the effects of climate change, invent such agriculture-specific adaptations policies for farmers which possess the ability to tackle climate change. Research and development in agriculture should focus on major verities of crops which are beneficial for economy and for better yield production. And flood control infrastructure, such as dams, seawalls, and tide gates work as physical barrier to prevent rising or running water from causing flooding and in this way we can safe our crops from excessive water and increase the yield and better quality of crop production.