17) Roundtable meet focuses on building climate-resilient rainfed agriculture (16 August 2011)

Hyderabad, India 16 August 2011 – Providing sustainable and science-based solutions and pro-poor approaches to climate change adaptation in rainfed agriculture was the focus of the Roundtable on Climate Change and Rainfed Faming Systems held at ICRISAT-Patancheru on 16 August 2011.

The meeting, organized by the JSW-Time of India Earth Care Initiatives 2011 along with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), primarily aimed to identify adaptation and mitigation strategies to manage the risk and protect the livelihoods of small and marginal farmers who predominate in the rainfed regions. Measures to build the resilience of natural resources and rainfed communities in India and other countries in Asia and Africa against climate change were shared and discussed during the meeting.

“Rainfed farming systems are the hot spots of poverty and are also the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change,” ICRISAT Director General William Dar said in his inaugural address. In unlocking the potential of rainfed agriculture in achieving food security and improved livelihoods, he advocated for a holistic approach integrating the adoption of climate-resilient crops and various soil, water and nutrient management strategies, with supporting policies and institutions.

Integrated water management through harvesting rainwater was also highlighted as an important strategy in building the resilience of rainfed communities and the natural resources.

Well-known panelists during the meeting include Dr. AK Singh, Deputy Director General of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR); Dr. PK Joshi, Senior Program Manager, IFPRI; Dr. B. Venkateswarlu, Director, CRIDA; and Dr. Sachin Oza, Executive Director, Development Support Center.

Drs Peter Craufurd SP Wani, ICRISAT scientists, led the discussion on focal topics such as assessing local impacts of climate change at regional/subregional levels, capacity building of all stakeholders including policymakers, development of climate-ready crops using new science tools, and building local institution and enabling policies to ensure equitable and inclusive development of smallholder farmers. Mr JK Tandon, CEO on Corporate Sustainability, Jindal Steel Works discussed industry and development dilemmas related to climate change.

About 65 participants representing different stakeholders from India participated in the roundtable meeting chaired by Dr Wani with R Gopichandran of the Gujarat Energy Research & Management Institute (GERMI).


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