SHORT COMMUNICATION: ADDRESSING VULNERABILITY OF AGRICULTURE SECTOR TO CLIMATE CHANGE IN PAKISTAN
Keywords:awareness, crop production, drought, floods, technology, weather pattern
Agriculture sector, being the dominant user of fresh water (70%) is highly vulnerable to climate change in Pakistan. Increase in frequency of floods and drought, rising temperatures and changes in rainfall pattern across the country during the recent years are clear indicators of changing climate. Climate change has serious repercussions for national food security as farmers have limited knowledge and technologies for mitigating the adverse effects of climate change on crop productivity. This situation is expected to decrease yield of major food crops. There exists dire need to make an intensive analysis of situation to identify existing knowledge and technology gaps and suggest doable measures for multiple stake holders like policy makers, scientists and farmers accordingly. This review paper covers the impact of climate change on agriculture and presents strategies to adapt to climate change. Strategies at policy/government level include increased funds for research, improvement of national capacity building (training of trainers) and development of a localized smart early warning system for climate change related events. Key research areas being identified to address vulnerability include development of innovative water use efficient technologies, zone specific agronomic research, applied root research, organic farming to increase soil resilience and research on ground water recharge and quality using simulation models. Farmers shall be sensitized about the issue of climate change through education and every effort shall be made to make proper use of existing farm resources and technologies to live with the changing climate so that national food security is not compromised.