PESHAWAR: The Climate Change Cell (CCC) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) warned that rising variability in monsoon rains, rapid recession of glaciers and constant depletion of freshwater resources have posed a major challenge to food security in the province. Talking to Daily Times at his office, Climate Change Cell Deputy Director Afsar Khan explained that KP was more vulnerable to climate change impact because of its geographical position and high population dependency on agriculture sector. “Most of the population residing in the province depends on production from their agrarian lands and livestock, but in modern time agriculture is the highest ‘climate change sensitive’ sector,” he added. He said that shortening of the part of the year during which rainfall and temperature allow plants to grow was a clear indication from the environment that agriculture sector of the province required proper attention and long-term adaptation policy. According to the statistics of the CCC, wheat yields dropped down from 1,840 kilogramme in 2013-14 to 1,803kg per hectare in 2014-15, while rice production fell from 2,225kg in 2008-09 to 2,159kg per hectare in 2013-14. “Similarly, two more important crops of the province – maize and sugarcane – also experienced an unprecedented decline during the last few years due climate change,” he said, adding that maize dropped from 588kg per hectare in 2013-14 to 452kg per hectare in 2014-15 and sugarcane from 45,906kg per hectare in 2013-14 to 45,643kg per hectare in 2014-15. He stressed the need for adopting new germination and harvest techniques in the face of climate change, as most of the farmers were unable to narrow the gap in demand and supply of various crops produce in the province. “Low technological and scientific base of the farmers in the region, limited knowledge regarding climate change science and low capacity for adaptation against adverse impacts have aggravated the overall agriculture economy of the province.” He said that many birds and animals, such as Siberian cranes, snow leopards, wolfs and ducks, had vanished during the last two to three decades from KP as a result of climate change, as per data compiled by the CCC. Moreover, the report of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale (GIZ) 2012 claimed that KP is exposed to increased climate vagaries and extreme weather disasters, and added that 74 percent of the forests had no regeneration.