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Climate Change Ravages Mehrab Kaka's Wheat Crop in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Mehrab Kaka faces not only the loss of his wheat crop but also the expenses incurred during cultivation.
by Kaif Afridi - 04 May, 2024 2025
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In the annals of human history, the gravest threat to survival isn't envisaged through the lens of World War III or economic downturns, for wars may cease, and economies can be revived with strategic interventions.

However, the looming specter of climate change presents an existential quandary. As world leaders endeavor to forge a unified front against this burgeoning crisis, the insidious signs of climate calamity persist, casting a long shadow over our future.

What is climate change?

Climate change encompasses long-term alterations in average weather patterns over many years. Earth currently grapples with rapid climate change, manifesting in a rise in global temperatures. These changes extend beyond short-term fluctuations, impacting the overall climate on a global scale, with historical evidence of significant shifts.

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Climate change has devastated Pakistan's wheat crop this season, a vital component of the nation's agriculture. Cultivation typically begins in December, necessitating adequate water supply for successful growth.

Mehrab Kaka, a farmer from Peshawar's Baghwanan area, laments years of insufficient or poorly timed rainfall leading to diminishing yields. This year, a lack of December rain resulted in total crop loss for him.

Mehrab Kaka faces not only the loss of his wheat crop but also the expenses incurred during cultivation. Now, forced to purchase flour due to destroyed crops and exacerbated by inflation, he finds himself in dire financial straits.

Farmers in Baghwanan village equipped with generators or solar panels managed to irrigate their crops effectively, avoiding losses due to the absence of electricity. However, the area's reliance on rainfed agriculture rendered crops vulnerable to destruction in the absence of timely rainfall.

Considering the recurring losses, Mehrab Kaka contemplates shifting to alternative crops or vegetables to mitigate future risks, a sentiment echoed by numerous farmers grappling with similar challenges.

The Department of Agriculture's report highlights extensive damage to crops and gardens in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to recent rains and hailstorms. In rainfed regions, farmers can minimize losses by diversifying crops or selecting alternative species suited to changing climate conditions.

Meteorologist Mushtaq Ali Shah underscores the alarming temperature fluctuations over the past century, indicating rapid climate change. Various factors, including excessive use of fossil fuels, industrial emissions, deforestation, and population growth, contribute to global warming, disrupting weather patterns.

Drastic temperature variations have altered rainfall, wind patterns, and storm frequency, resulting in catastrophic events like the October 2022 flood in Pakistan. Claiming over 1,700 lives and causing economic losses exceeding 30 billion dollars, it ranks among the deadliest floods globally.

Experts advocate for the construction of rainwater dams in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to enhance energy production and promote water conservation, offering a multifaceted solution to mitigate the impacts of climate change.