According to reports, the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) is developing renewable energy-based cooling technology in partnership with Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) of Australia and an industrial organisation in India.
Informing this, TERI Director General R K Pachauri, said in his convocation address at the University of Agricultural Sciences here: “We believe that access to cold chains would make a significant impact in allowing farmers to preserve their produce, which otherwise would need to be sold at suboptimal prices or just allowed to perish whenever there is a seasonal glut in the market.”
Pachauri, also chairman of Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, New Delhi, also called for an institution of early-warning systems by which farmers can learn about some possible extreme events before they actually occur.
He also said, unless agriculture is seen through the prism of all-round rural development, the country would not be able to reduce the growing risk that farmers will face on account of climate change and climate variability, and a range of other stresses. “An assessment of the impacts of climate change and what it implies in respect of water availability, floods and droughts as well as temperature increases would be vital for planning agricultural operations,” Pachauri said.
Pachauri expressed the view that while agriculture has certainly progressed, allied activities that could bring about all round development of rural India have not grown adequately to meet the needs and aspirations of rural people.
“The answer lies not merely in technological improvement of agriculture, but also a matching growth of access to finance, generation of skills, provision of energy and rural connectivity so that activities other than agriculture can grow commensurate with the development of farming activities,” Pachauri said.
Noting that a recent news report mentioned that Karnataka and Maharashtra would receive central assistance to the tune of Rs 1,304 crore on account of drought, he said: “If we had the means and the knowledge to predict such droughts and anticipate associated problems, we would be able to provide support to those who are likely to be affected not only at much lower cost, but also in a timely manner perhaps to be able to prevent large-scale distress and damage.”
“With the impacts of climate change, it is becoming imperative to project the consequences that would be faced by farmers so that adaptation measures can be taken in hand well in advance,” Pachauri added.