tte Indian subcontinent has been exposed to disasters from time immemorial, tte increase in the vulnerability in recent years has been a serious threat to the overall development of the country. Subsequently, the development process itself has been a contributing factor to this susceptibility. Coupled with lack of information and communication channels, this had been a serious impediment in the path of progress. India's vulnerability to various disasters has led to mounting losses year after year. Mammoth funds were drawn to provide post disaster relief to the growing number of victims of floods, cyclones, droughts and the less suspecting landslides and earthquakes.
Considering the vast area of the Indian landmass, around 57% of the land is vulnerable to earthquakes, 28% to droughts, 12% to floods and 8% to cyclones. Added to this is the susceptibility of various men-made hazards. Figuratively speaking, around one million houses are damaged annually.
Indian agriculture is passing through a critical phase as the rate of increase in crop production is barely keeping pace with the increase in population rates, tte Prime Minister of India has rightly called for a doubling of crop outputs in 10 years' time. As more land cannot be diverted to agriculture, increase in unit area productivity of crops is called for. Our recent experience is that the strategy of erring on the safe side through over-irrigation, over-protection and over fertilization of crops has been counter productive, leading to a decrease in rates of crop production even under irrigation and degradation of soil and air environments and pollution of surface and groundwater reserves, tte challenges facing agriculture in the country are ever increasing. In the first place agriculture is highly weather dependent and hence subject to its variabilities. Secondly, the possible impacts of climate change may pose major challenges. Finally, the very sustainability of intensive agriculture using present technologies is being questioned in the context of Global Change debate, tte problem therefore has to be addressed collectively by scientists, administrators, planners and the society as a whole.
In the present paper the extreme weather events causing the agrometeorological risks in different parts of the country during last 100 years have been discussed. Besides the impacts of these weather events on crop and plausible coping strategies for management of these agrometeorological risks for better crop production have been mentioned.
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