Indian Cities, Agriculture, Reeling from Heat Wave

April 29, 2022

Below, impacts on Indian grain harvest.

CNBC:

A record-breaking heat wave in India exposing hundreds of millions to dangerous temperatures is damaging the country’s wheat harvest, which experts say could hit countries seeking to make up imports of the food staple from conflict-riven Ukraine.

With some states in India’s breadbasket northern and central regions seeing forecasts with highs of 120 Fahrenheit this week, observers fear a range of lasting impacts, both local and international, from the hot spell. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told U.S. President Joe Biden earlier this month that India could step in to ease the shortfall created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The two countries account for nearly a third of all global wheat exports, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has warned that the conflict could leave an additional 8 million to 13 million people undernourished by next year.

India’s wheat exports hit 8.7 million tons in the fiscal year ending in March, with the government predicting record production levels — some 122 million tons — in 2022.

But the country has just endured its hottest March since records began, according to the India Meteorological Department, and the heat wave is dragging well into harvest time.

The heat wave is hitting India’s main wheat-growing regions particularly hard, with temperatures this week set to hit 112 F in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh120 F in Chandigarh, Punjab; and 109 F in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

Devendra Singh Chauhan, a farmer from Uttar Pradesh’s Etawah district, told NBC News that his wheat crop was down 60 percent compared to normal harvests.

“In March, when the ideal temperature should rise gradually, we saw it jump suddenly from 32 C to 40 C [90 F to 104 F],” he said in a text message. “If such unreasonable weather patterns continue year after year, farmers will suffer badly.”

One Response to “Indian Cities, Agriculture, Reeling from Heat Wave”

  1. J4Zonian Says:

    Of course we’ve been expecting this for years—multiple serial, simultaneous disasters of every type happening all over, all the time, demanding wall to wall coverage from every form of media and distracting the conversation from what needs to be done to my isn’t it awful. It’s much more painful than I ever imagined since half a century later we’ve still done essentially nothing to stop it.


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