The Climatic Environment and Agricultural Development



The Climatic Environment and Agricultural Development

There is no doubt that the climate has direct restriction on agriculture, especially during dangerous weather where there is no particular season for growing enough crops. Most Important to this is the equal process by which water is transferred from the earth surface to the atmosphere, this also show the availability of water for plant growth (FAO, 1978).  The growing period is taken as a period when precipitation reaches half of the quality of water that evaporate from the surfaces of the soil and plant, and when the plants lose water through their leaves.

The tiny droplet that is needed for crop growth may be over-ridden by some form of irrigation, but the main problem that is connected to irrigation is waterlogged, aquifer depletion and salinization. Salinization is a major problem in warm and dry land. For example, in India, it is roughly calculated that 4.5 million hectares have been damaged by salinization (Agnew and Anderson, 1992:159), while over 60 percent of the dry soil area in Haryana has been classified as marginally salty.

Changing the regular form of rainfall can also lead to changing the pattern of crops. Throughout history, the rise and fall in the climate has taken placed for some time, and many farming organizations have gradually developed a set of strategies to deal with these issues effectively. For example, in a warm and dry land, the state of vegetation will continuous to change slightly in response to the climate in that area. Again what may be seen by outsider as land degradation may also be seen by people living on that land as normal or adaptable way of living (Warren, 1995; Sullivan, 1966). Strategies have been developed for taking risk, including the expansion of food production, animal farming, using different seeds for long and short-term growing period, and using flexible approach for planting seeds in drought area.

It has been seen in the case of Sahel in sub-Saharan Africa, that it is very difficult to deal with long-term drought problems. The intensification of agriculture and the displacement of people form the north in the 1950s and 1960s, including the intense drought season during the 1970s and through the 1980s, has led to the severe shortage of food and the death of thousands of people and millions of animals in the region. The word desertification was invented in the late 1940s by the United Nations Conference on Desertification in Nairobi in 1977 to clearly show that the traditional belief that is surrounding desertification can only be resolve by means of keeping the climate under observation or through a detail examination of population growth, and good understanding of social movement that involve the irregularity of the climate, and the effect it have on plants, Thomas and  Middleton (1994).

The fast natural recovery of the Sahelian ecosystem, or the short-term rise and fall in the climate has been overwritten in a harmful and damaging way by human activities, such as technology, therefore climate change have significant effect on food security, both on the sustainability of particular crops and the weather condition in particular area, therefore the major problem facing most developing countries is the uneven arrangement of people living on the land, and the mismatch of agricultural land (Greenland et al., 1998). This means, food security in most developing countries is very slight, but climate change may benefit some people, but may not benefit large group of people

By Mac-konah


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