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The effects on cotton production due to climate change: an assessment on water availability and pesticide use in two different cotton growing regions in India
Stockholm University, interfaculty units, Stockholm Resilience Centre.
Responsible organisation
2008 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

According to several scientific reports, climate change will have an impact on water provision and thus agriculture, which depends on soil moisture for plant survival. India is a country that is heavily dependent on agriculture as a source of income. One of the country’s future challenges is securing water for irrigation. Cotton in India is an important cash crop which is grown under high evapotranspirative demand, using about 15% of the national water resources, making the crop vulnerable to changes in water availability.

The purpose of this study is to evaluate the resilience of cotton production with regards to water availability and pesticide use in Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. Three aspects of resilience: latitude, resistance and precariousness has been used to analyse three variables, precipitation, irrigation and pesticide in order to understand how these cotton growing systems are going to be affected by climate change. By bringing together existing data from several scientific reports and governmental websites, assumptions could be made whether these systems are resilient or if they are reaching a threshold. The results show that the cotton growing regions of Punjab are highly vulnerable when it comes to water provision in the region and that they might be reaching a threshold. Changes in climate are predicted to affect precipitation and temperature in the area, which in time might ultimately affect water resources in the region. Groundwater depletion and water logging are already prevailing problems in the area where almost all cotton production is irrigated. Cotton farmers in Andhra Pradesh are struggling with pest infestation which induces them to overconsume pesticides, affecting not only water quality in the area, but also farmers’ livelihood. It is likely that climate change will not minimize the outbreaks; on the contrary it might benefit some pests, which might increase the consumption of pesticide in the region. Coastal districts are more exposed to extreme weather which can harm cotton cultivation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. , 62 p.
Keyword [en]
Cotton, resilience, water availability and climate change
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7824OAI: diva2:199112
Available from: 2008-05-19 Created: 2008-05-19Bibliographically approved

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