Hyderabad: The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have called to adapt new measures to tackle growing climate related risks and constraints that prevail in rural areas.
The two leading organizations and their partners emphasized to adopt a different perspective and approach by listening, observing and learning from people that are supposed to help with research findings, technology and know how.
"The climate change is happening and its impacts are already being felt. Climate change will impact several sectors including agriculture, fisheries, water etc. Where the world population depends for their sustenance. Climate change impacts are imminent, irrespective of the geographical distribution and the impacts are going to be severe," said Harish Rawat, Union Minister of State for Agriculture, Food Processing and Parliamentary Affairs at the National Agricultural Science Centre, (NASC) at Delhi recently.
He was speaking at the inauguration of the policy dialogue on "Building Climate Resilient Agriculture in India" organized by the Research Program on Markets, Institutions and Policies (RP-MIP) of ICRISAT in collaboration with ICAR with support from Asian Development Bank (ADB), an ICRISAT release said here today.
Attended by over 60 dignitaries including key policy makers and other important stakeholders in India including representatives of concerned ministries and departments, the deliberation highlighted the grassroots level insights in climate related risks and constraints that prevail in rural areas.
These constraints were identified and analyzed as part of ADB funded seven-country project "Vulnerability to Climate Change: Adaptation Strategies and Layers of Resilience".
In his keynote address Director General of ICRISAT Dr William D Dar said, "We`re going to hold ourselves accountable. We`ll measure results. And we`ll stay focused on clear goals: boosting farmers` incomes and over the next decade helping 50 million men, women and children lift themselves out of poverty. The smallholder farmers who live in the semi-arid tropics and coastal areas are severely affected by climate change trends that are the result of mostly industrial and urban lifestyles."
The crisis management plan for drought of the government of India (2012) presents a disturbing picture, he said.
The report says that annually 50 million people are exposed to chronic drought. Sixteen percent of India`s land area is drought-prone, 68 percent of land area sown is exposed to drought.
Most drought prone areas in India lie in the arid (19.5%) semi-arid (37%) and sub-humid (21%) areas of the country occupying 77.6% of total land out of 329 million hectares. Thirty three percent of land receives less than 750 mm of rainfall and classified as chronically drought prone, he added.