Guwahati, Sunday, November 20, 2011
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16 NE districts vulnerable to climate change
Sobhapati Samom
 NEW DELHI, Nov 19 – Sixteen districts of eight Northeastern States were among the recently identified 100 most climate vulnerable districts of the country.

Of the 16, Assam has as many as four districts (Cachar, Dibrugarh, Dhubri and Sonitpur), followed by Arunachal Pradesh with three (Tirap, West Kameng and East Siang). Manipur (Imphal East and Senapati district) two, Nagaland (Dimapur, Phek and Mokokchung) three while Mizoram (Lunglei), Sikkim (Ranipool) , Meghalaya (West Garo Hills) and Tripura (Khowai) have one each.

The scientists across the country have identified the 100 vulnerable districts out of the country’s about 600 districts based on their past records on extreme climatic conditions such as drought, cold or heat wave, heavy rainfall, flood, frost, salinity, water stress, soil erosion or acidity, said Dr B Venkateswarlu, Director of the Central Research Institute for Dry Land Agriculture (CRIDA), Hyderabad. The CRIDA Director was briefing journalists from India, Pakistan, Afghanishtan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Maldives during Centre for Science and Environment sponsored workshop on climate change which concluded here yesterday.

CRIDA has taken steps to enhance resilience of Indian agriculture to climate change and climate vulnerability through strategic research and technology demonstration besides organising capacity building programme of the farmers under the National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture. A research on adaptation and mitigation covers crops, livestock, fisheries and natural resource management is also on. “So far we have launched strategic research on (Kharif) crops in the 62 districts”, Dr Venkateswarlu informed. “Similar activities for the Rabi crops will also be taken up in the remaining districts from next month.”

In short, one degree Celsius increase in temperature may reduce yields of major crops by 3-7 per cent. Greater loss expected in Rabi crops, he predicted.

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