Rs 23cr for villages in climate fight
Patna: The agriculture department has sanctioned Rs 23 crore to be spent over three years to help 10,000 farmers adopt practices in line with a decision to develop 100 climate smart villages.
Minister Prem Kumar said on Wednesday that in the current year, Rs 6.79 crore has been released under this head.
The climate smart village project entails promoting measures that would help farmers mitigate the adverse impact of climate change on cultivation. It is being implemented with support from the Borlaug Institute for South Asia.
The international research institute is a joint initiative of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and the Indian Council for Agricultural Research, dedicated to food, nutrition, livelihood security and environmental rehabilitation in South Asia.
As part of the climate smart village project, the Bihar government has also sanctioned Rs 2.34 crore for setting up a training lab at the Borlaug Institute's farm in Pusa, Samastipur.
Around 3,000 farmers will be trained in resource conservation technology and crop intensification at the lab.
The project is being implemented in eight districts, divided into four clusters - Purnea-Katihar, Darbhanga-Samastipur, Patna-Nalanda and Munger-Sheikhpura. From each cluster 25 villages have been selected, bringing 100 villages under the benefit of this initiative.
In the current year each cluster will get Rs 1.69 crore to promote smart farming practices.
"Demonstration, on-field training, advocacy and technical support are some of the main components of this project through which farmers will be helped. They will be hand-held for three years so that they are capable of practising the new techniques themselves," said an official in the agriculture department, adding that identification of villages and farmers is complete.
Experts from Bihar Agriculture University (Sabour, Bhagalpur), Rajendra Agriculture University (Pusa) and Indian Council of Agricultural Research will implement the project on the ground.
The official said the process will be thoroughly documented and based on the outcome, a detailed report will be prepared.
"Our long-term goal is to implement this project across the state and the government is aiming to spend something around Rs 300 crore once the project is implemented for the whole of Bihar," the official said.