The annual Economic Survey released this week by the Indian government unfolds the potential economic damage to agricultural communities due to climate change.
This survey covers the entire financial year and the Finance Ministry of India presents it before the Indian Parliament every year. It provides analysis and predictions across all sectors of the economy to aid lawmakers in making key policy decisions. Since agriculture is a vital part of India’s economy, the report this year highlights that agriculture will be severely affected by climate change.
The survey mentions that climate change could reduce annual agricultural incomes between 15% to 18% for irrigated areas and 20% to 25% for unirrigated areas.
That implies an average reduction of ₹3,600 per agricultural household. Newer water management technologies such as drip irrigation and sprinklers may hold the key to the future of agriculture in India.
The survey, however, doesn’t recommend any method to combat the falling agricultural economy. Apart from analysing the possible climate hazards to be faced by farmers all over the country, it also makes references to reduction of crop prices and rising debts without suggesting a way out of it.
The survey recommends increasing the adaptation of new technologies to extend irrigation since it will otherwise be very tough to achieve the government’s goal of doubling agricultural incomes by 2022 under current conditions of drought and failed monsoons in rural regions.