Wednesday, 14 May 2014

National Project on Climate Resilient Agriculture

Climate Change, caused by the increased concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, has emerged as the most prominent global environmental problem. Most of the countries including India are facing the problems of rising temperature, melting of glaciers, rising of sea-level leading to inundation of the coastal areas, changes in precipitation patterns leading to increased risk of recurrent droughts and devastating floods, threats to biodiversity, an expansion of pest and a number of potential challenges for public health.
Realizing that the climate change is likely to have major impacts on agriculture, the Government through Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has assessed the impact of climate change on Indian agriculture under different scenarios using crop simulation models.
The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has conducted climate change impact analysis on crop yields through various centres in different parts of the country using crop simulation models (INFO-CROP and HAD CM3) for 2020, 2050 and 2080.
The results indicate variability in temperature and rainfall pattern with significant impacts on crop yields. These studies projected reduction in yields of irrigated rice by about 4% in 2020, 7% in 2050 and 10% in 2080.
The Government through Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has initiated a network project on ‘National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture’ (NICRA) to enhance resilience of Indian agriculture through Strategic Research on adaptation and mitigation (covering crops, livestock, fisheries and natural resource management), Technology Demonstration, Capacity Building and Sponsored/Competitive Grant Projects.
 To enhance the resilience of Indian agriculture covering crops, livestock  and fisheries to climatic variability and climate change through development and application of improved production and risk management technologies
  To demonstrate site specific technology packages on farmers’ fields for adapting to current climate  risks
 To enhance the capacity building of scientists and other stakeholders in climate resilient agricultural research and its application.
XII Five Year Plan objectives related to the project are:

 Strengthening the existing network research on adaptation and mitigation (food crops, horticulture, livestock and fishery) with more infrastructure and capacity building.
 Setting up of high through put phenotyping platforms and temperature, CO2, ozone gradient facilities at identified locations/ institutions including North East region.
 Strengthening research on  climate sensitive crops like cotton, maize, sugarcane, onion, etc. which are critical for India’s farm GDP/exports but not covered in the XI Plan.
 Projected impacts on water availability at the river basin level and participatory action research at large number of sites on evolving coping strategies through water saving technologies.
 Evolving a national level pest and disease monitoring system to assess the changing pest/disease dynamics under changed climate (both in crops and livestock).
 Strengthening crop simulation and climate scenario down-scaling modeling capabilities at major Institutes and a dedicated unit at IARI, New Delhi.
 Piloting the operationalization of the district/block level agromet advisory services through KVKs/district line departments and contingency plans during droughts and floods.
 Expanding the technology demonstration and dissemination to 130 vulnerable districts of the country.