Thursday, June 7, 2012
The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have joined forces to adapt new measures to tackle the growing climate related risks and constraints that prevail in rural areas. LEARN FROM PEOPLE The two organizations and their partners emphasized adoption of a different perspective and approach by listening, observing and learning from the people that they are supposed to help with research findings, technology and knowhow. According to a press release from ICRISAT, Director General of ICRISAT Dr William D Dar had mentioned in his keynote address that they would hold themselves accountable. “We will measure results and stay focused on clear goals: boosting farmers' incomes and over the next decade helping 50 million men, women and children lift themselves out of poverty,” he had said, according to the release. As is well known, smallholder farmers living in the semi-arid tropics and coastal areas are most vulnerable to changes brought about by climate change. Director General of ICAR Dr S Ayyappan was also present at the meeting. In his opening address he had said that the collaboration of the two institutions was not recent but dated back a few decades. The collaboration has been beneficial, particularly in addressing the farmers' problems. “As far as climate change is concerned, it is a global phenomenon. The increase in the atmospheric temperature due to rising greenhouse gas levels such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide has been the prime driver of climate change. During the deliberations, it was reported that the early signs of increasing climatic variability are gradually becoming more visible in the form of increasing melting of Himalayan glaciers, flash floods, and intense rainfall over short periods. In the case of India, climate change would manifest itself in many ways. For one, it would increase the already existing stresses thereby increasing the vulnerability of food production and livelihoods of the farming community. And predictably, the small and marginal farmers are most vulnerable to the vagaries of climate change.