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Updated February 7th, 2023 at 18:02 IST

Climate change havoc affecting health of human beings, animals and crops: Govt

Climatic conditions influence the outbreak of some diseases like Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD), Avian Influenza, African Swine Fever, Classical Swine Fever, etc.

Press Trust Of India
Climate Change
Image: ANI | Image:self
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Climate change is causing new diseases and affecting the health of human beings, animals, and crops in the country, Parliament was informed on Tuesday.

In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said: "Yes, certain climate-sensitive health issues/ diseases have been identified in human beings."

For instance, air pollution-related illness, climate change and disaster-related diseases, heat-related illness, vector-borne diseases, and water-borne diseases have been identified under the National Action Plan on Climate Change and Human Health (NAPCCHH), he said.

Besides, the emergence, transmission, and establishment of animal diseases are influenced by climate change, the minister said adding that the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has been studying the impact of diseases and insect pests under changing climates in various crops and animals.

Climatic conditions influence the outbreak of some diseases like Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD), Avian Influenza, African Swine Fever, Classical Swine Fever, Theileriosis, Gastro-intestinal Parasitism (GIP), and Anthrax.

Among field crops, diseases like alternaria blight in groundnut; blast, sheath rot, and blight in rice; dry root rot in chickpea; stem rot in mustard and vegetable; thrips in chilies and white fly in various crops had direct co-relation to changes in climate, he said.

Similarly, the effect of a rise in sea surface temperature (SST) and its impact is visible on fish habitat, changes in phenology, trophodynamics, abundance and catch of fish species, as well as the distributional shift of fish and shift in the breeding season, the minister added.

The minister also said ICAR has launched a flagship network project to study the impact of climate change on agriculture, including crops, livestock, horticulture, and fisheries; to develop and promote climate resilient technologies in agriculture; to address the vulnerable areas of the country and to help the districts and regions prone to extreme weather conditions like droughts, floods, frost, heat waves, etc. to cope with such extremes.

Under this programme, the pest dynamics of climate change under field conditions were studied through database development on diseases, insect-pests, and weather of crops of importance across 12 agro-climatic zones, he said.

ICAR has developed climate-resilient varieties in different crops that are tolerant to diseases and insect-pests. Since 2014, a total of 1,752 climate-resilient varieties have been developed which include 1,352 resistant to diseases and insect-pests.

Besides, 68 location-specific climate-resilient technologies have been developed and popularized for wider adoption among farming communities.

Agricultural contingency plans for 650 districts have been prepared. Based on vulnerability assessment, climate-resilient technologies are being demonstrated on farmers' fields in 151 clusters covering 446 villages.

ICAR has also developed ICT-based pest surveillance for data accrual; Location specific weather-based models (rule-based & empirical) to predict the pest status; digital tools of pest forecasting (web and mobile apps on Pestpredict); mobile apps on integrated pest management of target crops including insecticide and fungicide calculators and forecast modules, he said.

That apart, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has identified and initiated research on four priority areas: Climate Change and Vector-Borne diseases, Aerosols and Respiratory Diseases, UV-A and UV-B and Corneal Damage, and Cataract and Environment and Heart Diseases.

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Published February 7th, 2023 at 18:02 IST

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