NABARD will implement the project worth Rs 24.73 crore over a period of four years under the National Adaptation Plan for Climate Change Project. As of now, 21 villages at Patratu block and another 27 at Narayanpur block in Ramgarh and Jamtara districts were selected on the basis of the Vulnerability Report Index (VRI) released by the United Nations Development Project in 2014. Low carbon farming will be introduced for the first time in Jharkhand on a pilot project basis at 48 villages by the forest department with help from the ministry of forest environment and climate change.
“The two districts were chosen as Ramgarh was found sitting at the top on the VRI, while Jamtara was lowest in the index,” says Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Sanjay Kumar. A blueprint is being prepared to promote traditional farming on the fields of 48 villages located adjacent to hills.
The forest department will execute the project through dedicated its project management unit based at Van Bhawan in Ranchi. “This is all about adaptation. Climate change is expected to increase stress on water, temperature and other factors which will adversely affect farmers. Crops in many of the areas are likely to be affected because of climate change. Farmers must adapt to the changing climate, and use water and other resources more efficiently.” There will be less carbon footprints when farmers use resources efficiently, PCCF says.
“Fields near the hills have been identified for low carbon farming where organic fertilizers will be prepared from the leaves falling down from trees. Water flowing downhill will carry soil and nutrients to these fields, providing better food to the seeds and plants. This, in turn, will enable stabilization of carbon emission in a better way,” says the PCCF.
Water from springs, rivulets and other sources will be used to minimize dependency on rain. Also, pesticides will not be required as birds and other creatures will eat larvae of harmful insects, he adds. “The project envisages enhancing capacities of farmers and providing support services to improve forest micro climate through soil and moisture conservation and water harvesting,” Kumar says. Besides, it will promote enhancement of gender sensitivity and climate resilient livelihood systems.
India has committed to voluntarily reduce its emissions intensity (emissions per unit GDP) between 20 to 25 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020. Low carbon farming calls for innovative farming to save resources and to decrease carbon emissions.
Lack of proper incentives for scaling up low carbon technology, financial complications for marginal and small farmers, lack of clarity or technologies or operational technologies are some of the challenges to low carbon farming in India.