There will also be reduction in yields of rice cultivated under rainfed conditions from 2.13 tonnes per hectare to 1.67 tonnes per hectare by 2030 and to 1.62 tonnes per hectare by 2040s.
The study spanned 17 states including Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Scientists arrived at the potential fall in rice yields based on 6.2 million simulations of climate change and global warming.
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana will be hit hard as they are primarily rice producing states. Nizamabad district in Telangana, together with Krishna and Godavari deltas in AP, are considered the rice bowl of south India.
The farm scientists have also projected a fall in rice yields based on the increase in temperature by varying degrees.
They warned that the rice yield is expected to decrease in 30 to 60% of the states studied as part of the research. The result of the research was published in the recent issue of the science publication, Journal of Water and Climate Change.
According to the projections, the average rainfed gap in yield of paddy will be 1.49 tonnes per hectare in the future. “The trend of seasonal climate variables shows an expected increase in maximum temperature, minimum temperature and rainfall, and a decreasing trend in solar radiation in the future i.e. 2030 and 2040s over the study area. Consequently, average spatial water-limited potential rice yield is expected to reduce from 3.62 tonnes per hectare in the historical period to 3.11 tonnes per hectare and 3.02 tonnes per hectare during the 2030 and 2040s, respectively,” the study predicted.
The scientists further said there will also be an increase in the yield gap of 20.9% and 22.2% by 2030 and 2040s respectively. A stagnated yield gap in 29.7% and 26.5% and decreasing yield gap in 49.4% and 51.3% of the study area during 2030 and 2040s respectively.
The researchers said their finding “contributes to understanding the consequences of climate change on rice yield gap and future food security concerns in India, which is essential for agricultural policy planning and the selection of mitigation strategies to reduce the rice yield gap”. They said their research study also has the potential to be translated for other parts of the world, and for other crops to develop adaptation strategies to reduce the crops yield gap for improving regional and global food security.
Another research study by the National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) of which CRIDA is a participant research body, projects a potential reduction in yield of kharif rice in extreme climates.