1. Agriculture World

ICRISAT Proposes Cost-Effective Climate-Smart Agri-Practices

"It is about prioritising investments in appropriate technologies in a context-specific manner, building farmer capacity, and providing adaptation incentives," said Shalander Kumar, Deputy Global Program Director at ICRISAT.

Shivam Dwivedi
Shalander Kumar, Deputy Global Program Director at ICRISAT (Pic Source-ICRISAT)
Shalander Kumar, Deputy Global Program Director at ICRISAT (Pic Source-ICRISAT)

Protecting agriculture from the negative effects of climate change is not an expensive proposition, contrary to popular belief. Scientists from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) conducted a pilot in Telangana's rain-fed districts and advocated for the promotion of climate-smart villages (CSV) to ensure sustainable agricultural production by increasing resilience to climate change.

The project aided in the prioritization of climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices for 8,000 farm households in the Mahabubnagar district, and the organization has proposed a framework for extending the climate-smart village approach to other parts of the state.

It is about prioritizing spending based on science-based policies and making critical investments to mitigate the negative effects of climate change. " It will not require a significant additional investment from the exchequer." "It is about prioritizing investments in appropriate technologies in a context-specific manner, building farmer capacity, and providing adaptation incentives," said Shalander Kumar, Deputy Global Program Director at ICRISAT.

To highlight the importance of CSA in rainfed farming systems, an ICRISAT team of experts completed a pilot project on scaling up climate-smart agriculture in Telangana.

He claimed that high climate variability was wreaking havoc on Telangana's rainfed farming systems. "The current efforts to address this issue are fragmented. All agricultural development plans and strategies must include a climate lens. "The key to mainstreaming CSA into development planning action is a science-policy interface supported by data and analysis, as well as sensitization of all stakeholders," he said.

"Funds and subsidies are available for the purchase of farm machinery and other farm equipment." It is about deciding what machinery and equipment to purchase. "It's all about prioritization," he explained.

Following the collection of data, the team conducted a climate risk analysis and implemented a multi-stakeholder participatory prioritization of CSA practices. "This approach has the potential to be replicated throughout India and beyond," said Shalander Kumar.

The team conducted a climate exposure (or climate risk) assessment for baseline and mid-century climate conditions in order to improve the effectiveness of CSA practices.

The team collected data on temperature changes, heat and cold wave events, rainfall variability, and changes in the frequency or intensity of consecutive dry and wet days after dividing Telangana into 350 grids representing mandals.

Using the data, the team created maps that highlighted the 'hotspots' or mandals that were more vulnerable to climate change. These hotspots would necessitate immediate action.

"This long-term climate analysis indicates high to very high climate risk in almost all mandals in the districts of Nalgonda, Adilabad, Yadadri, and Nagarkurnool," according to the report. "It is critical that climate-smart and sustainable agriculture strategies become integrated into development and agricultural action plans from the village to the national level," said Shalander Kumar.

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