- The FAO warns of potential negative impacts on India's maize, soy, and rice production due to the El Nino weather phenomenon.
- El Nino is likely to affect rice production across Southeast Asia, including India, while maize and soybean productivity may be impacted in various regions globally.
- The development of El Nino later this year is increasingly probable, which could lead to contrasting weather patterns worldwide and potentially higher global temperatures.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has raised concerns about the potential negative impact of El Nino, a weather phenomenon known for triggering severe drought conditions, on India's corn, soybean, and rice production. El Nino's effects are challenging to predict accurately due to variations in strength, duration, and localized mitigations. However, historical data allows us to identify certain crops and regions that are likely to experience yield impacts.
Rice Production in Southeast Asia:
El Nino is expected to affect rice production across South-East Asia, including India. As a weather event lasting 9-12 months and occurring every 2-7 years, its influence on rice cultivation in the region is a cause for concern.
Maize and Soybean Productivity:
India, along with the north China plain, southern Mexico, northeast Brazil, Indonesia, West Africa, and southern Africa, is likely to witness reduced maize and soybean productivity due to El Nino. The implications for these crops in various regions necessitate close monitoring of the weather phenomenon.
Monsoon Outlook and El Nino Strength:
The South Asian Climate Outlook Forum (SASCOF), supported by FAO's weather arm, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), has predicted normal to below-normal rainfall during the south-west monsoon over most parts of South Asia. However, the strength and duration of El Nino remain uncertain at this stage, as indicated by the WMO.
Global Balance of Crop Yields:
While El Nino has the potential to significantly lower crop yields in certain regions, the global impact may be balanced by yield increases in other areas. AMIS suggests that reductions in one region can be offset by improvements elsewhere. Monitoring El Nino in the coming months will be crucial in assessing its potential impact on global agriculture.
Positive Impacts on Maize, Soybean, and Wheat:
On a positive note, El Nino is expected to benefit maize and soybean production in the Midwest United States and southeast South America. Additionally, wheat yields may rise in the US southern Great Plains, China, Central Asia, and southeast South America. These potential gains in productivity offer some respite amidst the concerns.
Likelihood of El Nino Development:
According to the WMO, the probability of El Nino developing later this year is increasing, with probabilities exceeding 80%. The WMO highlights that El Nino's emergence would lead to contrasting weather and climate patterns worldwide, potentially fueling higher global temperatures.
Anticipated Weather Patterns:
If El Nino materializes, weather conditions could vary significantly across different regions. Some parts of the world may experience average to above-average rainfall, while others might face drier-than-average conditions. The strength of El Nino will ultimately determine the extent of its impact.
The FAO's warning regarding the potential impact of El Nino on India's maize, soy, and rice output highlights the need for vigilance and monitoring. While uncertainties surround the strength and duration of El Nino, historical patterns allow us to identify vulnerable crops and regions. As the likelihood of El Nino's development increases, global agriculture faces a period of anticipation and potential challenges, emphasizing the importance of staying informed and prepared.