STUDY OF AGRI-CLIMATIC CHARACTERISTICS IN NORTH WESTERN HIMALAYAS FOR ENHANCING PRODUCTIVITY – A CASE STUDY OF NAGROTA BAGWAN BLOCK OF KANGRA DISTRICT IN HIMACHAL PRADESH, INDIARITU NAGDEV, S.K. MAHAPATRA, R.K. MEENA, JAYA N. SURYA, R.P. YADAV AND S.K. SINGH
Climate change is a major environmental problem and poses a serious threat to agricultural sector. Himalayan ecosystem is more vulnerable to changing climate which includes melting glaciers, more precipitation, more and more extreme weather events and shifting seasons. A case study was undertaken in NagrotaBagwan block of Kangra district in Himachal Pradesh to identify the climatic variability in relation to landforms, land use/land cover using remote sensing and GIS technique and degradation features for better crop productivity. The study reveals that the area belongs to varying landforms like steep, moderately steep and moderately sloping side/reposed slopes, moderately and gently sloping piedmonts and very gently sloping valley terraces. About 29% area is covered under agriculture whereas nearly 49% area is under forests. The analysis of temperature and rainfall data of past two decades reveal that the mean maximum temperature has increased from 25.81 Â°C(1996-2005) to 26.02 Â°C (2006-2015), whereas the mean minimum temperature has decreased from 15.07 Â°C (1996-2005) to 14.80 Â°C (2006-2015). The annual rainfallalso shows continuous fluctuationsin the above said period. The agri-environment of Nagrota Bagwanblock is affected by this climatic variability, specially high intensity and low frequency of rainfall which causes more soil erosion, deforestation, land degradation etc., limiting the crop productivity. Proper engineering measures as well as soil and water conservation measures are to be undertaken to maintain soil health and enhancing crop production. Besides adoption of climate resilient agriculture (CRA) and environmentally sustainable land use planning is required to cop up with the climate change and overall development of the farming community of the block.
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