New Delhi: The climate change is causing new diseases and affecting the health of human beings, animals and crops in the country, Parliament was informed on Tuesday (February 7). In a written reply to the Lok Sabha, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said: “Yes, certain climate sensitive health issues/ diseases have been identified in human beings.” For instance, air pollution-related illness, climate change and disaster-related diseases, heat-related illness, vector borne diseases and water borne diseases have been identified under the National Action Plan on Climate Change and Human Health (NAPCCHH), he said.
Besides, the emergence, transmission and establishment of animal diseases are influenced by climate change, the minister said adding that the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has been studying the impact of diseases and insect-pests under changing climates in various crops and animals.
Climatic conditions influence the outbreak of some diseases like Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD), Avian Influenza, African Swine Fever, Classical Swine Fever, Theileriosis, Gastro-intestinal Parasitism (GIP) and Anthrax.
Among field crops, diseases like alternaria blight in groundnut; blast, sheath rot and blight in rice; dry root rot in chickpea; stem rot in mustard and vegetable; thrips in chillies and white fly in various crops had direct co-relation to changes in climate, he said.
Similarly, the effect of rise in sea surface temperature (SST) and its impact is visible on fish habitat, changes in phenology, trophodynamics, abundance and catch of fish species, as well as distributional shift of fish and shift in the breeding season, the minister added.
The minister also said ICAR has launched a flagship network project to study the impact of climate change on agriculture, including crops, livestock, horticulture and fisheries; to develop and promote climate resilient technologies in agriculture; to address the vulnerable areas of the country and to help the districts and regions prone to extreme weather conditions like droughts, floods, frost, heat waves, etc. to cope with such extremes.
Under this programme, the pest dynamics in relation to climate change under field conditions was studied through database development on diseases, insect-pests and weather of crops of importance across 12 agro-climatic zones, he said.
ICAR has developed climate-resilient varieties in different crops that are tolerant to diseases and insect-pests. Since 2014, total 1,752 climate-resilient varieties have been developed which include 1,352 resistant to diseases and insect-pests.
Besides, 68 location-specific climate resilient technologies have been developed and popularized for wider adoption among the farming communities.
Agricultural contingency plans for 650 districts have been prepared. Based on vulnerability assessment, climate-resilient technologies are being demonstrated on farmers’ fields in 151 clusters covering 446 villages.
ICAR has also developed ICT-based pest surveillance for data accrual; Location specific weather-based models (rule based & empirical) to predict the pest status; digital tools of pest forecasting (web and mobile apps on Pestpredict); mobile apps on integrated pest management of target crops including insecticide and fungicide calculators and forecast modules, he said.
That apart, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has identified and initiated research on four priority areas: Climate Change and Vector Borne diseases, Aerosols and Respiratory Diseases, UV-A and UV-B and Corneal Damage and Cataract and Environment and Heart Diseases.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.