Nagalim: Climate Change Is A Concern For All
Due to the deficient and delayed monsoon, the pattern of agriculture in Nagaland is now changing: delay in monsoon, erratic rains, floods, droughts and abnormal river flows are adversely affecting agriculture. This has placed the condition of the Naga people with regard to climate change in a very poor condition when viewed from the point of globalization. To solve this, farmers are taking steps to face the impact of climate change.
Below is an article published by The Morung Express:
For many people in Nagaland the Kyoto Protocol for climate change may seem very distant. The impact of Global Warming on the daily lives of people and the increasing signs of climate change in Nagaland are still vague to the common person, but the threats are very real. Farmers are feeling it the most. Be it the deficient and delayed monsoon which is affecting the agricultural and horticultural sector in the state, or the depletion of ground water – the pattern is similar the world over.
So far, Nagaland has registered a deficit rainfall of 37.1 percent compared to last year’s, and paddy fields in the foothills especially in and around Dimapur have been severely affected with the agricultural department reportedly putting the estimated agricultural losses to about Rs. 109 crores. The final estimated cost is yet to be assessed, but observers feel the loss would be substantial.
Team leader of Nagaland Empowerment of People through Economic Development (NEPED), Raj K Verma said this evening [15 September 2009] that climate change is a matter of concern for everyone. Due to the deficient and delayed monsoon, the pattern of agriculture in Nagaland is now changing, he said. ‘Jhum’ crops which were earlier sown in the month of May and June have now been delayed by about a month due to delayed monsoon. “The (sowing) festivals of the Nagas were held this year. But there was no sowing due to the delayed monsoon,” said Verma.
On the question of the condition of the Naga people with regard to climate change, Verma gave two points: when viewed from the point of globalization, the Nagas are placed in a very poor condition. Yet, when it comes to survival, the Nagas are better off as they are very resilient and can adapt to different modes of cultivation. He cited as an instance the people of Tuensang who are growing tomatoes and ‘kolar’ (long beans) at higher altitudes for a better yield. He informed that people in Tuensang are now compelled to adapt to changes, cultivating tomatoes and “kolar” by shifting from a lower altitude to higher altitudes. Citing this as an example of the impact of climate change, Verma said farmers have resorted to planting the plant 200 metres higher from the previous fields in Changsang area in Tuensang. This is to provide suitable climatic conditions for the beans to grow well, he said.
On the question of what the government or the people can do in this regard, Verma simply said the topic of climate change is a concern for everyone and one which cannot be tackled only by the government or non-governmental organisations. It is a global phenomenon in which everyone has a role to play.
India’s agriculture mainly depends on rain and weather. Climate change could lead to a loss of 125 million tonnes of cereal production, says the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in its last report, said climate change will result in a 10-40% loss in crop production in India due to increase in temperature by 2080-2100. A World Bank report recommended better water management, promoting climate-resilient agricultural practices and changing cropping patterns to safeguard agriculture and food security.
Delay in monsoon, erratic rains, floods, droughts and abnormal river flows are adversely affecting agriculture. Responses to a query posted in the UN’s “solution exchange for climate change community” indicated that farmers are taking steps to face the impact of climate change