How about climate smart villages in Bihar? Yes. That’s one of the recommendations made by agricultural scientists to fight climate change which threatens to compromise crop yields and leave Bihar farms bare of production.
The first-ever action plan to address the impact of global warming on agriculture in Bihar has suggested making one village in each district climate smart.
Finalised by Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA), International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), ICAR Research Complex for Eastern Region (ICAR-RCER), Rajendra Agriculture University (RAU), Pusa and Bihar Agriculture University (BAU), Sabour, it is now ready for submission to the state government.
The work for preparing the action plan was initiated after chief minister Nitish Kumar during his recent visit to Pusa in Samastipur, stressed on need for a strategy to cope with adverse effects of climate change on agriculture.
According to the action plan, the proposed climate smart villages will be model of community-based initiative for local innovations aimed at dealing with the impact of global warming on agriculture, besides adopting innovations made in the field of farming to increase adaptability of crops.
Subsequently, other villages could also be transformed into innovation hubs, says the plan document.
The action plan has taken into consideration the annual temperature and rainfall trends of the state in the last 58 years while preparing immediate, medium and long term strategies to meet challenges of climate changes up to 2050.
While making suggestions for climate smart villages, the action plan has also recommended synergy among existing government schemes related to agriculture.
Developing climate smart agricultural practices, besides measures that would help in adopting them, as well as understanding and documenting current and future climate risks have also been proposed in the action plan.
The plan has proposed development of more new stress-tolerant varieties of crops and identification of suitable climate smart agricultural practices for cultivation of such crops.
According to sources, the role of agencies involved in preparation of the action plan has also been specifically defined.
The work entrusted to BISA include documentation of climate smart agriculture practices and developing climate resilient cropping systems, besides promoting adoption of stress-tolerant wheat and maize varieties.
The CIMMYT has been tasked with developing stress-tolerant genotypes of wheat and maize, suitable for local adoption, apart from other work, the sources said.
The ICAR-RCER would work for establishment of district-level innovation hubs and development of stress-tolerant rice varieties, sources told HT.
Developing stress-tolerant paddy and oilseed varieties, besides documentation of climate smart agricultural practices, are among the works that have been assigned to RAU.
BAU vice chancellor (VC) Ajoy Kumar Singh said the Sabour based university would develop stress-tolerant varieties of paddy, wheat and pulses, apart from undertaking other works earmarked for it in the action plan.
Documentation of climate smart agricultural practices, ensuring facilities for medium range weather forecast, besides developing climate-ready production system modules were also among the task entrusted to the BAU, the VC added.