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Environmental Defense Fund Launches Climate Smart Agriculture Capacity Building in collaboration with Syngenta Foundation India

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is an international nonprofit that works to protect the environment and advance economic progress by combining science and economics with local partnerships.

Shivam Dwivedi
Women working in field
Women working in field

Aligned with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who recently called for an alliance of scientists and farmers to deal with climate change, and ensure a green future, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in collaboration with Syngenta Foundation India (SFI) has launched a unique program on climate-smart agriculture (CSA) which was hosted by ICAR-National Institute of Abiotic Stress Management (NIASM), Baramati Maharashtra-India. A week-long training was recently conducted by EDF to educate and build the capacity of the leadership team of SFI.

SFI through its network of over 8000 agri-entrepreneurs across 18 states reaches out to over 7 lakh small-holder farmers, helping them with end-to-end value chain services and providing financial linkages.   The objective is to train 100,000 AEs who will connect with 1 crore farmers over the next six years.

Himanshu Pathak, Director, NIASM said, “We are very excited to have the EDF climate-smart agriculture team bring their globally recognized expertise to our Indian associates.”

“This partnership aims to increase awareness of climate resilience and adoption of CSA to improve crop yields and farmer incomes while reducing greenhouse emissions,” said Hisham Mundol, Chief Advisor-India for EDF. He added, “Climate-smart agriculture that secures farmers’ incomes and reduces environmental stress is one of India’s biggest strategic priorities. The trained agronomists can now use the principles discussed in this training to start designing solutions for different geographies and crops.”

This CSA training curriculum included modules on the science of climate crisis, the impact of changing climate on Indian agriculture and economy, nitrogen and water management for improving yields and income, minimizing GHG emissions and maintaining soil health. We also discussed carbon markets along with the credibility, ethics, and efficiency of carbon credits. The contents of this training will be incorporated into the curriculum of the rapidly growing national network of Agri-Entrepreneurs of SFI.

Dr. Gajanan Rajurkar, Project Lead - Agri-Entrepreneur Growth Foundation, who attended the full week of training said, “EDF has stepped in to make the SFI’s existing AE training and education program informed by principles and practices of climate-smart agriculture. EDF’s excellent training starts to build the necessary capacity within Syngenta Foundation India to become leaders and pioneers of CSA in India.”

SFI is a non-profit organization that promotes innovative, durable, and scalable ways to improve farmer livelihoods. SFI incubates and nurtures village-level Agriculture Entrepreneurs (AEs) who provide end-to-end value chain services, including providing financial linkages to smallholder farmers. Each AE gets a 45-day-long online training.

They receive mentoring well beyond this for a period of 2 years to develop into rural entrepreneurs who each sustainably provide a bouquet of agriculture and allied services to at least 100 farmers. Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is an international nonprofit that works to protect the environment and advance economic progress by combining science and economics with local partnerships.

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