How climate change jeopardising Pakistan’s future

It is high time to address the alarming issue of climate change. The world is trying to cater to this issue as many parts of the planet are already facing horrible results of climate changes. Climate change results in weather change which ultimately results in change in surface temperature and rainfall. Previous study shows that temperature of areas near India, South China Sea, East China Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and many other areas close to them have been changed or have been facing changes.

Climate is continuously changing and it has directly impacted on the agriculture sector of Pakistan. According to the Ministry of Climate Change (2016), the seasonal duration and time has been changed which directly effected the cultivation time period. Agriculture sector is facing a lot of problems and proper and integrated planning needs to be implemented.

According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics’ report on Agricultural statistics (2015), Pakistan is a country where 70% of the population depended on agriculture. The total area of Pakistan is 7, 96,096 square km and cultivation area is about 25%. Pakistan’s major GDP is depending on the agriculture sector. Agriculture sector in Pakistan plays a significant role in the country‘s economy, it faced many problems in the past but climate change has become a major threat not only for the economy but also for the farming community which is unaware of it.

Pakistan is among the top 10 most affected countries from climate change and is positioned at 8th at Global Climate Risk Index. Agriculture crop production is vulnerable to the climate change and production is decreasing. Live stocks are facing problems because of the heat stress which results in either no or low quality crop.

In Pakistan, people are not concerned about the climate change and are not paying any attention towards this issue. According to climate change report about Pakistan, climate changes bring multifarious challenges. Heavy rainfall and melting of glaciers result in flashy floods which directly caused diseases in crops and soil erosion. Many crops of Pakistan are being rejected in global markets because of the diseases caused by floods.

In some areas, rainfall period has changed because of climate changes and because of improper water supply system the ultimate outcome is low quality or substandard crops. Water shortage is occurring due to dynamic change of temperature from the last five years (2010-2015). In the first four years, Pakistan estimated the sudden increase in temperature while at the end of 2014 and 2015 Pakistan expected an increase in the temperature but the opposite happened and the temperature decreased. Increase in temperature caused increased evaporation in plants and increase in photosynthesis process which caused issue of water shortage.

Pakistan should take some corrective action to solve this emerging issue which is affecting the agriculture sector. The country should adopt new technologies to predict or forecast the climate changes. According to the report, 144 million acre feet water is received by Pakistan from different resources but the saving capacity is only 12.6 MAF. Therefore, water reservoirs and dams should be constructed on priorities.

Management should properly measure the irregularities in the water supply because of change in climate and properly govern the water reservoirs, so that proper water is provided to the fields and reduction in live stocks production can be handled. Pakistan should also produce flood-resilient crops to save its crops from being diseased or damaged. To inform the farming community about the alarming situation of climate change, government and other responsible authorities should make communities which can convince farmers about the new techniques of cultivation. Altering cropping method is one of the best solutions of the problem e.g. cultivation of sugar beet instead of sugarcane. Altering crops can give minerals availability to the soil and is the best solution in the unavailability of water.

To sum up, it needs to be said that the agriculture-dependent economy of Pakistan has been immensely damaged by the climate change. The increase in temperature is not only affecting the agriculture sector but is also worsening the situation of the farming community as proper planning is not undertaken by all concerned bodies.

It is time for the civil community, especially the Planning Commission of Pakistan and other economic bodies to come forward and work together to cater the issue properly. So, in a nutshell, sudden climate change is an emerging issue worldwide and it needs attention at global scale and proper planning procedure is required to lessen the losses.

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