Horil Singh, a farmer from Rajapakkar village of Vaishali district in Bihar, has been seeing fluctuations in rainfall pattern and temperature for almost a decade now.
This has impacted his paddy and pulse produce to a large extent till a global initiative launched in 2010, to help small farmers in dealing with climate change, helped him in creating vertical drainage systems that let excess rainwater seep quickly back into a natural acquifer.
Vikas Chaudhary, a farmer from Karnal in Haryana, has adopted conservation farming methods such as zero tillage, direct seeding and soil health-based fertiliser application for the last three years.
Farmers like Singh and Chaudhary are being helped under this initiative. Farmers from around 40 villages are being trained through this method and 'climate smart' villages are being piloted in Bihar and Haryana.
Many farmers in the two districts of Bihar and Maharashtra have been trained on the usage of technology such as increasing carbon content in the soil through agro forestry, manure management and optimum application of nitrogen through 'crop sensors device', which saves cost and keeps in check greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Through collaborative efforts of various international agencies including ministry of agriculture under Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) platforms, hundreds of farmers have been trained on various agronomic practices that save the crop from excessive rains and drought through 'climate smart' villages concept.
“With encouraging response for the climate smart villages concept, the programme would be implemented in Maharashtra in a larger scale shortly,” Pramod Aggarwal, Regional Programme Leader, CCAFS told FE
He said the focus of climate smart village programme has been integrating available local knowledge on conservation technique along with global prospective on climate change mitigation. “We want more villages to adopt these techniques,” Aggarwal said.
Agriculture ministry and Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) provide support through various schemes and data on weather to farmers, global agencies are bringing in technical know-how to help farmers impacted by climate change.
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) helps farmers in prioritising adaptation and mitigation options, International Water Management Institute (IWMI) has been helping farmers in dealing with water-logging through vertical drains. International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is providing inputs on conservation agriculture through precise use of fertiliser.
"The challenges faced by farmers are going to be more pronounced as climate change worsens. Let's hope that sustainable agricultural practices show promising results and lower costs.," said Ashok