Climate Change and Potato Productivity in Punjab—Impacts and Adaptation


The study was carried out to assess the impact of climate change on potato productivity to develop adaptation strategies in Punjab, using crop growth simulation models for future climate scenarios (2030, 2050 and 2080) under representative concentration pathways (RCPs) 4.5 and 6.0. Three potato cultivars belonging to distinct maturity groups, late (Kufri Badshah), medium (Kufri Jyoti) and early (Kufri Pukhraj), were used. Simulation results showed that under RCP 4.5, increase in CO2 concentration is expected to bring an increase in productivity of Kufri Badshah, Kufri Jyoti and Kufri Pukhraj by 6.7, 7.2 and 7.1% in 2030; 10.8, 11.6 and 11.4% in 2050; and 14.0, 15.0 and 14.8% in 2080. However, the corresponding increase in temperature is likely to decline the mean productivity by 2.6, 3.8 and 3.8% in 2030; 6.5, 8.7 and 9.3% in 2050; and 14.4, 17.6 and 18.4% in 2080, for Kufri Badshah, Kufri Jyoti and Kufri Pukhraj. But, when combined influence of temperature and CO2 was considered, the productivity of potato will not be affected in 2030 and 2050 over the baseline scenario but is expected to decline in 2080 (Kufri Badshah − 1.9%, Kufri Jyoti − 4.1% and Kufri Pukhraj − 5.2%). Similarly, for RCP 6.0, increased CO2 concentration is expected to increase the mean productivity by 6.5% in 2030, 10.5% in 2050 and 19.4% in 2080. However, yield increase due to CO2 is negated by increased temperature with respective values of 2.2, 4.4 and 14.2%. However, under combined effect for RCP 6.0, productivity of potato cultivars is not likely to be affected over the baseline scenarios for 2030, 2050 and 2080. Results further revealed that by changing the dates of planting or selection of suitable cultivars, yield can increase in 2030 by 7.4% in Kufri Badshah and 7.8 and 1.5% in Kufri Pukhraj in 2050 and 2080, under RCP 4.5. Similarly, adaptation may increase mean yield up to 9.1% for Kufri Pukhraj in 2030, 9.8% for Kufri Badshah in 2050 and 8.2% for Kufri Badshah and Kufri Jyoti in 2080 under RCP 6.0. Further, with proper irrigation and nitrogen management practices, yield can be increased.