NIRDPR Spearheads 25 ‘Climate Smart agricultural’ techniques in Bihar & Madhya Pradesh

Hyderabad: National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR) coordinated a pilot project on 25 ‘Climate Smart’ Agricultural Techniques in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, States considered vulnerable to the effects of climate change, between 2015 and 2019.

The findings of this project, along with suggestions for future strategies, are being presented during the National Conference on ‘Climate Change Adaptations in Agriculture for Sustainable Livelihoods’ hosted by NIRDPR on 22nd and 23rd November 2019. About 50 national experts from various universities and research institutes from 15 States are presenting their findings during the conference. 85 participants including academicians, Agri-practitioners, innovators, students of agriculture and rural development will deliberate during the 2-day conference.

Delivering the Inaugural Address today (22nd Nov 2019), Ms. Leena Johri, IAS, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD), Govt. of India, said that any long journey starts with a small step and SLACC is one such step. She spoke about other programmes of MoRD, where 60 lakh Mahila Kisans are mobilized for agriculture, livestock and other rural development programmes.

The Major Findings and Results of this Pilot Project on ‘Climate Smart’ Agricultural Techniques include

A. Perhaps my most significant contribution has been the development of a village level planning tool “Climate Change Adaptation Plan” (CCAP tool). The tool is community-engaging, easy-to-use, sensitive enough to capture the different types and degrees of vulnerabilities across communities and is oriented towards localized adaptive action and thus helps to articulate climate change concerns and identify measures to address them has been developed by Dr. Anish Chatterjee, Team Leader of the project. Cadres of both SRLMs (MP and Bihar) were trained and CCAP was conducted in ALL 793 villages of SLACC.

B. Weather Based Agro Advisory Services (WBAAS), for securing the livelihoods of marginal farmers in drought and flood prone areas of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, is another very much in demand intervention. WBAAS are helping the farmers to develop micro planning, for their cultivable area, with available natural resources and human labour. WBAA Services have enabled increase in yield by nearly 16-19 %, saved crops to a large extent and are in high demand from non-beneficiaries. They were also able to minimize the input costs by around 33%, on major crops like paddy, wheat, moong/urad, turmeric and vegetables.

C. Seed Selection, Treatment and Replacement for Climate Change Resilience was another intervention worth mentioning. Seed treatment not only improves production but also helps to protect the environment from pollution emitting from spraying of pesticide, fungicide and insecticide. Treatments like Bejamrit and priming helps seeds to act against seed-borne and soil-borne diseases, so that application of pesticides and other chemicals may be reduced. Thus, the pollution contributing from such spraying will be reduced. This has increased the farm income by at least 30-40 % through introduction of stress tolerant/resistant varieties.

D. Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) were introduced, which brought farm machinery within the reach of small/marginal women farmers, at affordable rent on hiring basis, to meet timeliness of operational needs through appropriate machinery. It also increased the productivity and cropping intensity by increasing the farm machinery power availability at local level.

Speaking about the contribution of NIRPDR in tackling climate change, Dr. W. R. Reddy, IAS, Director General, NIRDPR, said, “Climate change is the biggest risk to agriculture and food security. The events of climate change are frequently observed in the present day in events such as floods, severe drought, hailstorm and cyclone, among others.”

Dr. Reddy mentioned the importance of three Zeros – Zero hunger, Zero unemployment and Zero carbon footprint to be adopted by transferring research outputs into action in the field on an area approach basis. NIRDPR is very strategically positioned to bridge this last mile gap by providing hands on training to CRPs so that it can be taken to millions of small and marginal farmers of India.

The Conference Themes include:

Ø Climate resilient agriculture and ecological practices for sustainable food production and livelihoods

Ø Technology interventions for climate risk management,

Ø Assurance of insurance against loses in agricultural production due to climate change, and

Ø Convergence of government schemes for climate resilience.

Addressing the Conference, Dr. Jayalakshmi, IAS, Director General, MANAGE (National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management), emphasized the need of convergence with all the sectors at all the levels, from Centre to State to gram panchayat level for planning and implementation of conceptual frame works to be turned to proof of concept models.

Addressing the Conference, Smt Radhika Rastogi, DDG, NIRDPR, mentioned, “norganic intensive agriculture is destroying nature and the lives of people and we need to have attitudinal change in making the right choices in the way we think and live.”

Addressing the Conference, Dr. Praveen Rao, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU), said that that rural development should be made a part of school education system and there is a need for different technologies to meet the present challenges in agriculture.

The conference is supported by the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) and sponsored by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the UNFCCC through the World Bank. The conference is coordinated by Dr. Ravindra S Gavali, Professor and Head, Centre for Natural Resource Management, NIRDPR and its faculty members, Dr. K. Krishna Reddy, Dr. V Suresh Babu and Dr Subrat Mishra and team.

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