Several plant diseases affecting both animals and agricultural production have been identified by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). These diseases have found to be in direct correlation to climate change.
The government has launched several programmes to study and mitigate the impact of these climate related diseases. They have also identified an upsurge of pest attacks by locusts in the last 3 years. These attacks have been come at a much larger scale than seen in the last 26 years.
Large Scale Locusts Attacks Seen After 26 Years
In recent years, there has been an upsurge of reports detailing large scale locust attacks in India. 2019-2021 has seen mass attacks after a gap of 26 years.
Locusts are trans-boundary migratory pests that can cover hundreds of kilometers in swarms.
The government has also dedicated projects to develop ICT based pest surveillance and weather modules to predict pest status. They have also established Locust Circle Offices and one Locust Warning Organization (LWO) in Rajasthan and Gujarat.
Can Climate Change Related Diseases Be Mitaged?
ICAR has taken various steps towards research and innovation in the field of climate resilient crops. So far 1752 varieties of climate change tolerant crops to increase food grain production.
Climate related diseases in animals such as Avian influenza, African Swine Fever (ASF), Classical Swine Fever (CSF), Theileriosis, Gastro-intestinal Parasitism (GIP) have been identified under ICAR. To counter this the government launched the National Animal Disease Referral Expert System (NADRES) which provides disease outbreak prediction in animals two months in advance.
There is continued study of these diseases to create vaccines to mitigate the outbreak of diseases including a vaccine for coronavirus in animals.
There have been various projects and training programs initiated by the government related to pest control and surveillance to ensure farmers are well versed in the Agro-Ecosystem Analysis (AESA). This allows the farm to make informed decisions regarding the use of pesticide and bio-control agents to better manage pest attacks or disease outbreaks in crops.