Monday, 30th October 2017

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'Smart village' project spells hope for climate

The agriculture department in Bihar with support from the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (Bisa) has launched a project to develop 100 "climate smart" villages in the state.

By Sanjeev Kumar Verma in Patna
  • Published 3.07.18
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Patna: The agriculture department in Bihar with support from the Borlaug Institute for South Asia (Bisa) has launched a project to develop 100 "climate smart" villages in the state.

Farmers from these villages will be trained to undertake measures to help them mitigate the adverse impact of climate change on farming.

Bisa, which is a joint initiative of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center and the Indian Council for Agricultural Research, is an international research institute dedicated to food, nutrition and livelihood security as well as environmental rehabilitation in South Asia. Its objective is to harness the latest technology in agriculture to improve farm productivity and meet the demands of the future in a sustainable manner.

One of Bisa's farms is located at Pusa in Samastipur.

As far as the climate smart project is concerned, it is being implemented in eight districts of Bihar, which have been divided into four clusters - Purnea-Katihar, Darbhanga-Samastipur, Patna-Nalanda and Munger-Sheikhpura. From each cluster a total of 25 villages have been selected and thus 100 villages will get the benefit of this initiative to begin with.

"Villages have already been identified and at present, the baseline survey is being conducted ahead of launch of the project. The on-field implementation of the project will begin from Rabi cropping season this year and it will be implemented over a period of three years," an official in the agriculture department said.

He said apart from training to farmers, the project also entails introducing steps like water conservation, modern methods of farming and also introducing some new crops, which would help the farmers in enhancing productivity.

As training of farmers is one of the most important components of the project, the Bihar government has sanctioned Rs 2.34 crore to set up a training lab at Bisa's farm at Pusa. "Around 3,000 farmers will get training in resource conservation technology and crop intensification in addition to other activities, which will help attain the goal of making climate-smart villages," agriculture minister Prem Kumar said.

Some of the farming-related activities, which are part of resource conservation technology include things like zero tillage, direct sowing of paddy, management of crop remains, sensor-based use of supplements and water management among others.