Building Climate-Smart Villages

ICRISAT working with multiple partners has developed climate resilient dryland crops and a pool of climate-smart technologies that can help farmers cope with increased climate change risks. The approaches are focused to equip smallholder farmers in the semi-arid tropics to use climate-smart scientific interventions to make agriculture more profitable and sustainable. Click on each model to see the detailed approach.


A pool of climate-smart agricultural practices equips farmers in the mining belt of Karnataka, India, to rehabilitate their ecosystem and earn up to 12% – 27% better crop yields even in uncertain weather.


60% of farm households in Nkayi, Zimbabwe, will be exposed to greater vulnerability by 2050 due to climate change. Computer simulated on-farm future scenarios and solutions serve in guiding policy makers.


81% of farmers in a remote Ghana village rely on climate based cropping advisories on mobiles for on-farm decisions. They also use new agricultural technologies to increase farm productivity.


In 458 ha in Mopti, Mali, farmers demonstrated that climate change adaptation is achievable by using eco-friendly methods and climate information for managing crops, livestock and forest cover.


In Kurnool, India, farmers heeding the seasonal cropping advisory derived from climate and crop simulation modeling earned 20% more than others who did not.

We find solutions to help communities cope with dryland stresses and adapt
to climate change. We do this through: understanding the impact of dryland stresses
on smallholder agriculture; undertaking crop simulation models; helping develop the value
chains for crops that are better adapted to the harsh and variable climate of drylands; better
farm management e.g. revitalize soils and conserve water, and crop and livestock diversity;
and providing climate modeling and decision-making tools
In the dryland tropics, like Niger, indigenous plants are hardy and natural survivors - they have adapted to tolerate drought.
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Using a bottle cap, they apply tiny amounts of fertiliser - about one-sixth of the quantities normally put on grain crops in Europe - directly to the plant roots. Research shows this increases yields in Niger by an average of 55%.
Drought in Niger has left about 8m people, more than half the population, needing food aid. But scientists say a simple farming method - fertiliser micro-dosing - could have averted the crisis. Farmer Seydou Boubacar and his wife Zaina use the technique.
Another method to counteract poor yields during drought, and the famine it brings, is known as bioreclamation of degraded lands: The exhausted soils of the Sahel are replenished using rainwater storage methods and planting indigenous trees and crops.
It is not the only agricultural method that could be practised to increase yields, the researchers say. Low pressure drip irrigation is very successful. Instead of taking hours to water a plot with watering cans, a drip kit takes 10 minutes to turn on.
Since using the method, Mr Boubacar has almost tripled his harvests and increased his wealth. "When I started micro-dosing in 2000, I had only two sheep, but today I have 20 sheep, 20 goats, two cattle and 10 donkeys," he says.  [Photos and words supplied by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid-Tropics (ICRISAT)]

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