Alarming echo is picturing that earth is in a danger zone. Everywhere drought, failures in agriculture, unpredictable weather, rising temperature, greenhouse gases are experienced.
“Drought is the death of the earth” – T.S. Eliot, poet
What is our aim for the future – To nurture the agriculture and resources or to stamp out the drought?
Ruling out the drought will result in flourishing,
Maintaining prosperity will result in the absence of drought.
This is the conventional psychological thought process for all. However, drought and prosperity are two different poles, and we need a specific strategy for sustainable ambiance. Let us see how both are unique and structured in the same environment. In 2019, delayed South-West monsoon benefited India with extended rainfall and more agricultural outcome. Whereas, it made a negative impact on the Summer monsoon of Australia, leading to rainfall shortages, crop losses, and wildfire. The delayed monsoon became a blessing for one land, and the same became a curse for another.
As humans, we plan and impose things according to our vision and scope. Hence, it is especially important to select our path wisely for the future.
The global population is more than 7.5 billion at present. It is estimated to be 10 billion with double the demand for water for agriculture by 2050. Global population, water, temperature, atmospheric air, soil, and agriculture are being conflicted in the existing ecosystem. In 1970, the United States President Nixon had initiated environment policies to maintain flora and fauna. It includes the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Honoring this, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 every year, and this year 2020 is celebrated as the 50th year.
In the current scenario, the primary concern and complex challenge to our world is the absence of life-giving water – the ‘drought.’ Many researchers have investigated the scientific and social impacts of droughts in the past, present, and future. The annual rainfall shift, climate change, groundwater depletion, and physiology of plant response pushed many public and private organizations to figure out the solution as well.
Drought and Prosperity
Both drought and flourishing exist in the earth like the extent north and south poles. Drought and prosperity could equally reign the earth. They have enough power to change the circumstances of the living ambiance. The natural evolution of the ecosystem results in a suitable atmosphere for the existence of widespread human beings. Knowledge and understanding of our earthly neighbors will give us the wisdom to lead a balance between drought & prosperity and associated peaceful life.
Plans to overcome the drought
To overcome the devastating drought, researchers modeled several factors listed below for saving the future.
- The climate change
- Future effects of drought-induced tree mortality
- Forest mortality
- The relation between rising temperature-drought
- El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO)–related droughts
- Soil moisture
- Freshwater management
- Groundwater analysis
- Ocean warming
The result of many analyses suggested a few practices like efficient water management, controlling climate change, hybrid plantation, etc. However, most of the models predicted that significant damage to the forest would occur if the current climate change persists in the coming decade.
In a context, researchers have actively engineered plant biology to withstand the drought circumstances. With the calculation of leaf area, root depth, stomatal response, cuticular leakage, water storage, and tree density, we can engineer a plant and reduce the dehydration rate. Such hybrid plantation might result in green cover on earth, even in the drought situation.
Such relocation of species would not result in deforestation or downgrade the resonance between soil quality and crops? The aim of stamping out drought may result in severe damage to the ecosystem, and no one can model nature’s response. Nature always responds weirdly; it has a response from out of the box of imagination.
Earth Day at 50
Hanging by a thread? Forests and drought
On the essentials of drought in a changing climate
The physiology of plant responses to drought
The effects of drinking water service fragmentation on drought-related water security
Protect the prosperity
After the evolution of the earth, we had natural vegetation and ecosystem. Globalization resulted in planting crops widely everywhere. In some cases, we were benefited hugely; in some instances, we lose the natural crop cultivation. The fire could help us to live better if we use it properly else; it might demolish the entire society. How are we utilizing the discoveries and innovations?
Even during the high alert on drought and climate change, some farms yielded excellent outcomes. The implementation of proper research and technology saved many lives and became a spotlight for modern agriculture.
“We’ve got to continue supporting agricultural research that improves the bottom line for production agriculture. We have to confront the fact that our climate is changing – the science is clear on that.” – John Tester, U.S. Senator, and Active Farmer
Our focus must be on new agricultural technology for modern farming for unpredictable climate changes. Some examples of contemporary farming include:
- Indoor vertical farming
- Farm automation
- Livestock farming technology
- Modern greenhouses
- Precision agriculture
- Artificial intelligence
Livestock – Agriculture
Nowadays, livestock farming is an individual profession. In the past, livestock mingled with humans and blended in all the processes of our traditional agriculture. Notably, in India, livestock farming occupied a dominant role. Animals were used across all the stages of agriculture from plowing the land (preparation for seeding), manures, clearing out the weeds, transporting the harvest materials, decomposing the green agricultural waste. The tremendous role of veterinary species like cows, sheep, dogs, and ducks was inevitable in human and agricultural growth. Considering the livestock to be employed in agriculture similar to the past with the improved, innovative approach will reduce the effort for sustainable farming.
We must remember the importance of livestock and make use of it in our day-to-day lives on this World Veterinary Day (April 27).
If our focus is on the development of agriculture with innovative research and technology, we can significantly eliminate the scarcity of food products and associated challenges. With the aim of sustainable farming, some projects are bridging the gap between the traditional agricultural methodologies with current technological improvements and figuring out the obstacles to prevail over.
“To feed a growing world population with the given amount of arable land, we must develop new methods of sustainable farming that increase yield while minimizing chemical inputs such as fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides.” – Prof. Roland Yves Siegwart, Project Coordinator, Flourish Project, Switzerland
The primary attention and focus on how to do agriculture in the worst or extreme environment will help to support farming. By adapting to big data about climate conditions, we could be more productive and sustain the resources for our future. Who knows, after a while, this step could cut down climate changes and normalize the ecological balance.
We have been conducting drought-related research for a long time, even then we failed to control the catastrophic effects like
- Brazil Amazon forest fire (2019)
- Australia forest fire (2019)
In this scenario, if we focus on protecting the flourishing (agriculture and forest), it will directly help us to live happily on this earth.