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The threat of climate change and pesticides in agriculture!

The threat of climate change and pesticides in agriculture!

Shamiran Biswas

As a result of climate change, salinity accelerates the intensity of storms, erratic rainfall, high temperatures, flash-floods, etc. Agriculture is a unique contributor to income and employment generation in Bangladesh. Crop production increases rural income and creates employment for poor people.

The adverse effects of climate change in all agricultural activities are putting agriculture in extreme danger! The surface temperature is increasing due to the continuous increase of greenhouse gas. This results in the melting of polar ice, erratic rainfall and extreme weather conditions. Food security is threatened by the intensification of climate change as population increases and agricultural resources decrease worldwide.

An increase in average temperature will increase crop production time in high latitudes but increase yields, while in subtropical and warm regions of low latitudes, where yields are currently reduced by summer heat, yields will be lower, with increased soil water evaporation. (Source: IPCC2007 & US EPA2011). Changes in rainfall patterns and patterns—affecting soil erosion and soil evaporation—will reduce yields.

Precipitation will be high in high latitudes and low (up to 20%) in most low-longitude off-tropical areas, leading to prolonged drought. Surface carbon dioxide concentrations will increase, increasing some yields. But other damaging effects of climate change, such as higher temperatures and precipitation, will outweigh this. Tropospheric weight pollution - due to increased carbon-dioxide, bad weight will increase which will damage living cells and other substances. Temperatures will rise, causing carbon dioxide to rise, thereby outpacing crop growth.

Harmful effects of heat or temperature on agriculture:

Increase in temperature will reduce crop yield. Unwanted diseases and insect attacks will increase in crops. Increases in temperature reduce the movement of pollinating butterflies to cropland by 14 percent. Overall reduction in the number of parasitoid and pollinating butterflies leads to massive crop losses.

Harmful effects of cold currents on agriculture:

Both the number of winters and the severity of winters are decreasing in Bangladesh. This will reduce the normal growth and yield of the crop. Crop pollination will be disrupted. The production of crops such as potato, onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric etc. will be greatly reduced due to extreme cold.

Harmful effects of salt water intrusion and increase in salinity on agriculture:

The increase in salinity in coastal areas due to the obstruction of water flow from upstream and reduced rainfall will cause more problems in the future due to rising temperatures and lack of moderate rainfall. As the soil in the saline region is muddy, the soil becomes hard during the dry season. Agriculture and biodiversity will be the most affected by increasing salinity. There will be shortage of food water, irrigation water. Saint water fish will die. There will be changes in the diversity of shrimp species, the life and livelihood of ordinary people including fishermen will be damaged. If climate change continues, this imbalance will become more pronounced day by day.

Effects of use of chemical pesticides in agriculture:

Chemical pesticides impact climate change in multiple datasets. Changing climates with rainfall, temperature, weather, and agricultural soils etc.; By increasing the carbon emissions between them, increasing the surface temperature, the overall agricultural activities are becoming abnormal day by day. Heart disease and stroke are the leading cause of death in Bangladesh and food poisoning is one of the main causes. Unwanted use of chemical pesticides is also reducing soil fertility.

In this situation, there is no option to stop using this pesticide, which is harmful to animals and the environment. According to a source in the Plant Protection Department of the Department of Agriculture Extension, about 42 thousand tons of pesticides were used in the country in the fiscal year 2021-22. But nature and environment have to pay extreme price for this. Because, its continuous application destroys the quality of the soil. Beneficial microorganisms die.

On the other hand, it enters the human body through breathing and creates complex diseases like cancer and asthma. Reduces human fertility. Causes child malformations. It hinders their mental development. A recent study by the National Cancer Institute showed that one-third of the patients hospitalized with cancer are farmers. It is the need of the hour to conduct tough surveillance and raids by law enforcement agencies on the sale of chemical pesticides.

If its use is not stopped, the damage to the human body and nature will increase. The severity and frequency of heatwaves, droughts, floods and hurricanes are increasing, and agriculture is suffering from increased uncertainty. About 40% (2.5 billion) of the world's 6.7 billion people depend on agriculture for their livelihood, who are facing losses. In order to overcome these losses, the current agricultural techniques have to be changed and new technologies and varieties have to be developed to produce higher yields while keeping the problematic conditions and greenhouse gases under control.

The writer is a, Agriculture & Environment Specialist, Dhaka.

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