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Climate change adds fuel to an imminent wheat crisis in Pakistan

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Islamabad | May 11, 2022 10:24:04 AM IST
As Pakistan grapples with an acute economic crisis, the Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) has released climate summaries that indicate that climate change in the country is leading to an acute wheat shortage accompanied by food and water scarcity.

According to a report released by the Pakistan Global Climate Risk Index, the country ranks 5th position in relation to vulnerability to climate change and global warming, reported the Intellectual Forum for Right and Security.

Further, there have been studies that indicate rapid changes in temperature could severely impact the cropping seasons, and "potentially permanently eliminate" the viability of cultivation of certain crops.

Experts have warned that drastic weather conditions in Pakistan could also lead to abject poverty, malnutrition, food shortage, water scarcity, reduced livestock production resulting in forced migration and an upsurge of viral diseases, reported the Intellectual Forum for Right and Security.

Meanwhile, the PMD has stated that the month of May can bring a serious crisis to Pakistan. Pakistan had already witnessed a 62 to 74 percent decline in rainfall in the previous months and supposedly, intense heatwaves in summer can greatly impact water supply and food availability.

Notably, it is estimated that Asian countries can witness soaring temperatures, at least by 3C by the year 2040. Such sweltering heat can incur a loss of about 50 per cent of wheat productivity. Pakistan is likely to suffer more owing to its geographical location, reported the Intellectual Forum for Right and Security.

Reportedly, the newly-elected Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was informed that Pakistan would be forced to import about 4.62 million metric tonnes of wheat to make up for the loss in output.

"Reduced wheat cultivation, water shortage, and fertiliser crisis due to the mismanagement by the previous government and delayed announcement of wheat support price" were said to be the reasons for the import.

If the wheat crisis worsens, Pakistan would also be compelled to import wheat from India until the new Pakistan government works to reduce the impact of climate change on major crops like wheat. (ANI)

 
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