The late onset of monsoon rains is forcing more and more farmers to change their cropping practices.
Photo: J.-M. Caimi/laif


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Changes in weather patterns are going to affect agriculture with impacts differing according to region. The developing countries can reckon with the first effects. The authors look at the role that organic agriculture can play in adaptation. They assess the potential that organic agriculture could have but also look at the contribution that agriculture itself is making to climate change and examine how organic agriculture fares in this respect.

 “Year after year the monsoon starts later and the drought period prolongs, putting a heavy charge on crop production. Then, rains start and the degraded soils cannot absorb enough of the water. The gift becomes a punishment and crops and humans suffer again. Climate changes and our cropping practices have to change as well to assure our survival.” Such statements can increasingly be heard from farmers in Southern India, for example.

Climate change is real. Mitigation measures have to be taken, but even with strong action, climate change will increasingly affect societies and the environment. For agriculture, the most pressing question is how to assure food production in a changing climate, or, framed differently, how to adapt to climate change. The more mitigation action is taken, the easier this task will be. Thus, the other important question is how agriculture may contribute to climate change mitigation.

The effects of climate change on agriculture

Climate change affects agriculture in various ways.

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