Academic journal article Asian Social Science

What's the Missing Link? - Reviewing Climate Change Polices in Context of Indian Agricultural Sector

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

What's the Missing Link? - Reviewing Climate Change Polices in Context of Indian Agricultural Sector

Article excerpt


Government of India has recently announced for special funds like National adaptation fund to handle market risks arising due to climatic variability. The operational protocol of this fund and other forthcoming initiatives have yet to be expanded, but through this paper we like to draw attention to some of the policies and programmes that the Governments of India have already initiated and that directly or indirectly link to managing the risks and challenges faced with climate change in context of agriculture sector. These policies have their own merits and demerits, but it is the need of the hour to draw synergies between the existing polices and new proposed actions to draw on the strengths of the ongoing programs and build up on that. This paper is also relevant in the context of UN Climate summit 2014 held on 23rd September and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) aim at a global alliance for climate smart agriculture along with India's prime ministers speech on 15th august, 2015 and the budget speech emphasising on threat that agriculture is facing because of climate change and government willingness to give emphasis on this agenda in context of agricultural sector. With the critical analysis, we also want to highlight the richness in the policy framework of several policies which are interlinked with each other, but due to lack of coordination they implementation might not be very appropriate.

Keywords: agriculture, climate change, policies and programs, food security, India

1. Introduction

The issue of climate change has been emphasised in India's policy making over the last decade through several policies focusing on various aspects of climate change. This is evident from the ambitious launch of National Action Plan for Climate Change (NAPCC) which was adopted on 30th June, 2008, the National Adaptation Fund (NAF) and an overall shift towards sustainable practices to achieve India's developmental goals (Government of India, 2008a)

India's climate change policy has been driven by principle of equity - "that must allow each inhabitant of the earth an equal entitlement to the global atmospheric resource" (Rai & Victor, 2009). Over the last decade and a half India has adopted a more pro-active approach to climate change policy with the vision 'to create a prosperous, but not wasteful society, ... self-sustaining in terms of its ability to unleash the creative energies ... (and) mindful of (our) responsibilities to both present and future generations' (Government of India, 2008b). It is strongly influenced by the priorities of poverty eradication and enhanced socio-economic development. India's climate change policy strongly echoes the principles of the global alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) led by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) (Food and Agriculture Organisation, 2014). The basic principle of CSA that India has adopted is to sustainably increase agricultural productivity and develop resilient food systems while reducing GHG emissions.

But, inspite of these initiatives, India remains the third highest green-house gas emitter (Olivier, Maenhout, & Peters, 2012) after US and China. It is due to the lack of any consistent framework that guides India's effort towards reduction in emission ( Dubash, Raghunandan, Sant, & Sreenivas, 2013).

In this article we explore the climate change policies of India and identify the 'missing link' between several policies addressing similar objectives. This paper showcase national level policies of the Government of India (GOI) that outlines India strategy to deal with the issue of climate change. It focuses on the agricultural sector because of its vulnerability to climate shocks as well as significant contribution greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Simultaneously, it presents a critical analysis of these policies to highlight the scope for improvement in policy design as well as its implementation.

In this article we adopt a broader definition of climate change policy which includes policies that aim at mitigation of emissions as well and management of current market risk and production risk due to climate adversities. …

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