Climate change may lead to more pests and pesticide residues

By TheHindu on 11 Mar 2017 | read

The phenomenon of climate change, which is set to impact agriculture, is also expected to increase the menace of pests, leading to increased use of pesticide as well as more pesticide residues in the crops for consumers.

Participating in a technical session at the ongoing Agricultural Science Congress here on Thursday, Dr. J. Padmaja, scientist from the Food and Drug Toxicology Research Centre, observed that increase in carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere due to climate change was paving the way for increase in pest population.

New varieties of pests were also expected to surface as a result of this impact, she pointed out.

In fact, the cotton bollworm, which devastated large tracts of cotton crop, was also a result of the increase in carbon dioxide level, she noted.

Similarly, the population of nematodes, which are the harmful bacteria in the soil, especially those affecting banana crop was expected to increase, she warned.

While the temperature variation due to climate change was bound to affect the quality of crop such as fibre content, the quantum of weeds was bound to increase.

This is going to be a testing situation for farmers as the increase in temperatures due to climate change would make them tired, making it difficult to toil in the field, the scientist said.