(L to R) Dr Whitbread; Dr Chakravarthy; Dr Carberry; Dr Rao; Dr Kumar.

Scaling up climate smart agriculture for Telangana, India

(L to R) Dr Whitbread; Dr Chakravarthy; Dr Carberry; Dr Rao; Dr Kumar.

(L to R) Dr Whitbread; Dr Chakravarthy; Dr Carberry; Dr Rao; Dr Kumar. Photo: PS Rao, ICRISAT

Given the high climatic variability in Telangana state in India, stakeholders came together to discuss context specific climate smart agriculture (CSA) practices and identify synergies to design and promote local level CSA implementation plans.

In Telangana, severe fluctuations in rainfall have negatively impacted rainfed farming systems in both low rainfall (600 mm) zones of southern Telangana and high rainfall (1000 mm) zones in the northern part of the state. Drought is a common and recurrent feature of the region. This has adversely impacted the livelihoods of resource poor farmers.

The workshop began by reviewing cases of climate smart villages (CSV) initiated in India and specifically Telangana. Climatic risks were identified at mandal level (smallest administrative division) covering all 30 districts of Telangana. Median values of 29 Global Climate Models (GCMs) and projections of future climate data were obtained by using the most recent Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5) and were used to analyze future climate projections and identify highly vulnerable hot spots. Mandals in southern Telangana were identified to be more vulnerable.

The next step was to prioritize CSA practices that are adaptable and location specific, factoring in diversity at grassroots level. Climate risks are experienced differently by different groups which depends not only on the geography and production systems but also on the socio-economic status of farmers, government policies, investments in agriculture, etc. Therefore, based on the newly identified climate risk data, participants prioritized potential CSA interventions for the state. Methodology for prioritization of location specific CSA practices was presented by Dr Shalander Kumar, Scientist, Dryland Systems in South Asia, Innovation Systems for the Drylands Program, ICRISAT-India and Dr Arun KC, CGIAR Research Program Climate Change, Agriculture & Food Security, CCAFS, New Delhi. Climate risk data was presented by
Dr Dakshina Murthy, Senior Scientist – Systems Modeling, Innovation Systems for the Drylands Program, ICRISAT-India and team.

Multi-criteria analysis was used to prioritize CSA practices. Adoption barriers in terms of resource requirement, capacity and knowledge of extension agencies and farmers, social acceptability and policy constraints were also assessed for each prioritized CSA practice. The group also deliberated on incentives such as subsidies, credits and
tax breaks to promote CSA interventions.

A diverse group of 60 researchers, scientists, policy makers, members from civil society and officials from various departments of Government of Telangana participated in the workshop organized jointly by Environment Protection Training and Research Institute (EPTRI), CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security and ICRISAT. The two-day workshop was hosted by ICRISAT on 6-7 December.

This workshop was attended by participants from: Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), Hyderabad; PJ Telangana State Agricultural University (PJTSAU), Hyderabad; National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD); Telangana state departments of agriculture, horticulture and animal husbandry; State Seed Corporation (SSC); National Seed Corporation (NSC), Ground Water Department; State Co-operative and Marketing Federation (MARKFED); State Warehousing Corporation and Rural Development; District Water Management Agency (DWMA); Non-governmental organizations such as Dhan; Watershed Support Services and Activity Network (WASSAN) and South Asia Consortium for Interdisciplinary Water Resources Studies (SaciWATER).

Among the dignitaries present were: B Kalyan Chakravarthy, Director General, EPTRI, Dr V Praveen Rao, Vice Chancellor, PJTSAU, Dr Peter Carberry, Deputy Director General, ICRISAT and Dr Anthony Whitbread, Program Director, Innovation Systems for Drylands, ICRISAT.

For more information on ICRISAT’s work on climate change click here

Project: Scaling up Climate Smart Agriculture via the Climate Smart Village Approach for Telangana State, Resilient Agricultural Households through Adaptation to Climate Change in Mahabubnagar district.
Investor: CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS), National Adaptation Fund on Climate Change (NAFCC), Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change, Government of India through Environment Protection Training & Research Institute (EPTRI), Government of Telangana.
Partners:  Environment Protection Training and Research Institute (EPTRI), CGIAR Research Program on Climate change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and ICRISAT.
This work contributes to UN Sustainable Development Goal

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