The Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh addressed the Inter-Session Meeting of Consultative Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare in New Delhi today. Shri Singh’s address focused on the “Climate Resilient Villages and their Replication” in which he stated that the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has taken up a flagship programme - National Innovations on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) to comprehensively address the impact of climate change and variability on crops, horticulture, livestock, and fisheries. Its aim is to develop adaptation & mitigation practices to minimize the losses and to enhance resilience of Indian agriculture.The Union Agriculture Minister said that the project has components of research technology demonstration and capacity building. The technology demonstration component aims at demonstrating location specific technologies to minimise the impact of climate change in farmers’ fields. It is being taken up in 151 climatically vulnerable districts across the country by taking one representative village in each district. The predominant climatic vulnerabilities addressed are drought, flood, cyclone, heat wave, cold wave, frost and hail storm.The Minister informed that the technologies demonstrated can be categorised into four modules namely Natural Resource Management, Crop production & Horticulture, Livestock & Fisheries and creation of Institutions in the village. The technologies for demonstration were identified based on the climatic vulnerability, predominant farming systems in the village and the resource availability.
These demonstrations have led to minimization of impact of climatic variability and stabilized production leading to their adoption.Shri Singh further said that several states have shown interest in replicating the climate resilient village models. For example, the Government of Maharashtra through World Bank funding formulated a project by the name PoCRA with a budget outlay of Rs 4500 crore being implemented in 5000 villages in the drought prone villages of Vidharbha and Marathwada regions of Maharashtra. Several other state governments also initiated similar projects of climate resilient agriculture (Karnataka, Odisha, Telangana etc.).The Minister emphasised the need to bring convergence of these programmes at the village level so as to enhance the adaptive capacity of communities to effectively address the concerns of climate change. Shri Singh further added that in order to effectively bring convergence of the developmental programmes at the village level and at the household level, there is a need for an integrated scheme by converging the ongoing schemes. This suggested title could be Integrated Climate Resilient Agriculture Programme (INCRAP). A few pilots may be taken up in identified climatically most vulnerable districts of the country by selecting few villages / mandals / blocks as implementing units. The experiences of such pilots can be used for the spread of Climate Resilient Villages in the country.