Climate Change Impact On Agriculture In Pakistan

1700 words (7 pages) Essay in Environmental Sciences

01/05/17 Environmental Sciences Reference this

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Climate change is a phenomenon that arises due to emissions of greenhouse gases from fuel combustion, deforestation, urbanization and industrialization, resulting variations in solar energy, temperature and precipitation. (Upreti, 1999). It is a real threat to life which largely affects water resources, agriculture, coastal regions, freshwater habitats, vegetation, forests, snow cover, and geological processes such as melting, land sliding, desertification and floods all of which have long-term affects on food security and human health. (G.Malla.2008).

Climate change is a global issue; debated on at all fronts whether it’s political, economic or scientific. Climate must be prevented from further damage. Before the end arrives, there is a need on all levels of society to understand climate, the factors behind change and its impact on our agriculture and economy.

It is a well known fact that agriculture is the backbone of Pakistan. Agriculture and agri-related activities form 80% of the country’s economy. Agriculture is comparatively more sensitive to changes in climate, and can be impacted severely due to events such as untimely rainfalls, extreme temperatures and carbondioxide concentrations. A need arises to closely observe the environment and take up necessary measures for tackling these challenges. This research work is an attempt to address the issues and problems faced by Pakistan’s agricultural sector and find the necessary solutions.


Pakistan’s economy and prosperity is closely linked to its agriculture. Pakistan’s economic activities relate directly or indirectly to agricultural sector. Agricultural sector is dependent on nature. The uncertain changes in nature i.e. changing in precipitation pattern, extremely high and low temperatures, cyclones, thunderstorms, variation in water level, impurification of air, water and soil, have made agriculture and agri-production a challenging issue. Unusual heavy rain storms in 2010, which resulted in floods and distortion of agriculture and property, are an example of climate change. The loss to the economy and the people sufferings are still remembered and unforgettable. It is the need of the day to carefully observe climate change, the causes of extreme weather events and find the necessary solutions to the problems.

Issues regarding susceptibility to extreme climate conditions should be addressed with seriousness to save Pakistan’s agricultural sector and consequently the national economy. This research study is an attempt in addressing and ultimately solving the problems faced by Pakistan’s agriculture sector due to uncertain climate revolutionization.


Considering the importance of agricultural sector for the economy and food requirements of Pakistan, there is a need for reliable estimates of major crop production under varied climate change provisions and circumstances. Although climate is an immeasurable fact that is affected by various factors i.e. Carbon dioxide concentration in atmosphere, temperature variations, precipitation rates, water level, soil erosion, salinity etc. The factors that are directly effecting crop production are temperature and precipitation rates. This research study will analyze crop production with temperature and precipitation rates. The core purposes of this research study will be as under;

1. To observe the trend of climate change from the last three decades i.e. from 1980 to 2010;

2. To analyze temperature and rainfall, as the key factors effecting agricultural production, with the major cash crops and food crops in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa;

3. To investigate the probable impacts of recent and predicted future climate change on different crops production;

4. To scrutinize different adaptive strategies in coping with the catastrophic conditions of environment and improving the total crops yield;


Pakistan is an agricultural country; climate change impact on agricultural sector is a serious issue that demands immediate attention. This research study mainly focuses on the impact of climate change on agricultural sector of Pakistan such as untimely rainfalls and temperature variations that ultimately results in either prolonged droughts, unalarmed floods, increase in soil erosions and decrease in land productivity, which ultimately results in the migrations and desertification. The country’s socio-economic setup suffers the most that leads to a weak nation.

The most recent impact of climate change was seen in July 2010, when floods destroyed thousands of villages all over Pakistan. The greatest hit among them was Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KPK). The core purpose of this research study is to analyze the temperature and precipitation effects on agricultural produce in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa. Major crops will be taken up in this regard, to analyze them in relation with temperature and precipitation from 1980 to 2010. Predictions of temperature and precipitation will help us adapt in the future with extreme cropping and harvesting seasons. Prevention can be done before disaster strikes to safeguard the interest of a poor farmer.


This research study will strive towards finding answers to the following questions;

1. Is there any potential damage caused by climate change to Pakistan’s economy as a whole and agriculture sector in particular?

2. What are the impacts of 2010 floods on the production of major crops in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa?

3. Are there any adaptative strategies to climate change that can help rural communities strengthen their capacity to cope with disasters?

4. What should be the future land-management skills of farmers to climate change?

5. What measures should be taken in the future to diversify the livelihood of the poor farmers?


The methodology to be adopted for this study will be as under;

Major factors effecting climate change on agricultural sector are temperature and precipitation rates. According to the plant physiology literature, plant development is a linear positive function of temperature, within a range of temperature between minimum and maximum thresholds (Ritchie and Smith, 1991). Keeping this in mind, the econometric model used for analyzing the climate impact on agricultural sector will employ both maximum and minimum temperatures, which are positively related to crop’s yield. Moreover, precipitation rates effecting crops yields will be captured by the relevant econometric and mathematical equations.

The data regarding the temperature and precipitation variables will be obtained from Pakistan Metrological Department. The data for the total yield of various crops in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) will be attained from the Pakistan Federal Bureau of Statistics. Climate change trend will also be observed by engaging different econometric and statistical techniques and procedures. The econometric model used in the research study will be analyzed with the help of econometric software; SPSS or SAS. The detailed analysis of the econometric models will be explained and conclusions will be drawn from it. The socioeconomic impacts on people as well as on the development of country will also be addressed. Future recommendations as well as the adaptive strategies for copping with extreme environment conditions will also be given.


The proposed chapter structure of the study will be as under;

CHAPTER I; Agriculture sector and its importance to the economy of Pakistan.

CHAPTER II; Climate change and its impact on Pakistan agricultural sector.

CHAPTER III; Agricultural production in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa as affected by the change in climatic conditions;

Review of the major crops over the last three decades.

CHAPTER IV; Analysis and investigation of the major crops of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa with climate change factors, using Econometric techniques.

CHAPTER V; Concluding the study; various adaptability and compatibility strategies in relation to climate change will be discussed.


Agriculture is extremely vulnerable to climate change. Higher temperatures ultimately reduce yields of desirable crops while encouraging weed and pest production. Changes in precipitation patterns elevate the short-run crop malfunction and declines long-run productions . Although there will be an increase in some crops production in some regions of the world, the overall impacts of climate change on agriculture are expected to be negative, intimidating global food security.

International Food Policy Research Institute (2009) conducted a study that concentrates on various agricultural sector issues in Asia and the Pacific. It presents indicators of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity of agriculture sector in the region. Those indicators underline the vulnerability of the agriculture sector as a source of livelihood and food security for many people. This study also represents vast heterogeneity in farming systems across Central, East, Southeast, and South Asia and the Pacific Islands. It also highlights many other aspects of vulnerability to climate change across the region that includes undernourishment, poverty and slow productivity., all of which are aggravated by the effects of climate change.

Neil Leary and Jyoti Kulkarni, (2007), work is based on a combination of case studies from different regions of the world. These studies have debated climate vulnerability to impacts from climate variation and change. The potential outcomes from exposure to climate hazards and climate change are identified as high-level concern in these studies.. It includes water scarcity that retards progress towards development goals, losses of entire ecosystems and their species, more frequent and greater loss of life in coastal zones, land degradation, food insecurity and famine, loss of livelihoods and increase in infectious disease epidemics. All of these are possible outcomes of exposure to climate hazards. It is a source of greater information as it has addressed climate change impacts on all fronts of life whether it is social, economic or political.

Santiago Olmos (2001) provides an outline of adaptation issues, subject to climate vulnerability literature and climate discussions. This paper covers assessments of climate vulnerability in various regions of the world and developing countries in particular. The paper also discusses some of the existing resources that can be used to conduct climate vulnerability assessments and adaptation work.

The current research work is unique in the sense that it will point out the impacts of climate change on the agricultural sector of Pakistan. More specifically, major areas of concern will be the climate impact on crops yields in Khyber Pakhtunkhawa over the last three decades. The direct and indirect social and economic impacts of climate change will also be analyzed in this study. Adaptive and preventive measures in copping with extreme climate conditions will also be given in this research study.

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