Climate Smart Village model to be implemented in Bihar
The Climate Smart Village model is a unique initiative by Climate Change Agriculture, Food and Secuirty (CCAFS) in India, undertaken currently in Haryana and Bihar, to promote agriculture practices that will mitigate the effects of climate change on agriculture and help communities adapt to climate change to ultimately become resilient to extreme weather events such as droughts, floods, and delayed monsoons.
Climate Smart Agriculture involves a portfolio of interventions that are chosen to suit the local environment and the community's needs. These are adopted at the village level to create Climate Smart Village models. The idea is to start small but upscale the scheme to include several villages in different parts of the country.
The interventions range from index-based insurance, weather forecasting services, efficient irrigation and water management, conservation agriculture, inter-cropping and crop diversification, minimum tillage, laser land levelling and agroforestry to name a few, said another expert.
In Bihar, CCAFS works along with several partner organizations in Rajapakar, Bali Bathna and Lal Pokhar in Vaishali district. These villages were selected in 2011 based on their suitability, and willingness of households, to adopt climate smart interventions that could be carried out over a period of time to evaluate the results.
The key climate-related issues in the district are frequent droughts, water logging and flooding, and decreasing annual rainfall.
The district has approximately 90.4 km2 of area, which remain permanently waterlogged. Some farmlands have imperfect drainage of the soil, limiting optimum air-water relationship at the root zone affecting the crop growth. Increasing soil salinity is also a matter of concern in some areas of the district.
Farmers in the district have taken well to these climate smart agriculture practices and are proactively working with local partners on the field to implement the same.
As CCAFS collaborates on a participatory model with CIMMYT (Centre for Improvement of Wheat and Maize), IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) and local government bodies such as farmers' groups and self-help groups.
CCAFS is a 10-year research programme that seeks to overcome the threats to agriculture and food security due to climate change. At present, CCAFS works in South Asia, East Africa, West Africa, SE Asia and Latin America.