New Delhi : Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India launched a flagship network project ‘National Innovations in Climate Resilient Agriculture’ (NICRA) in 2011. The project aims at strategic research on adaptation and mitigation, demonstration of technologies on farmers’ fields and creating awareness among farmers and other stakeholders to minimize the climatic change impacts on agriculture.
In the strategic research, the main thrust areas covered are (i) identifying most vulnerable districts/regions, (ii) evolving crop varieties and management practices for adaptation and mitigation, (iii) assessing climate change impacts on livestock, fisheries and poultry and identifying adaptation strategies.
So far, 7 climate resilient varieties and 650 district agricultural contingency plans have been developed besides assessing the risk and vulnerability of Indian agriculture to climate change.
Under technology demonstrations, location specific technologies have been demonstrated in 151 climatically vulnerable districts.
In the past nine years, 16,958 training programs have been conducted throughout the country under NICRA project to educate stakeholders on various aspects of climate change and resilient technologies, covering 5,14,816 stakeholders so as to enable wider adoption of climate resilient technologies and increase in yields.
State-of-the-art infrastructure facilities have been established by ICAR in the National Agricultural Research and Education System (NARES) across the country to facilitate the climate change research. Unique infrastructure facilities viz. High Throughput Plant Phenomics, Free Air Temperature Enrichment facility (FATE), Free Air CO2 Enrichment facility (FACE), CO2 Temperature Gradient Chambers (CTGC), Gas chromatography, Atomic absorption spectrophotometers, Environmental growth chamber, UV-VIS spectrophotometer, Thermal imaging system, Psychrometric chambers etc. have been established at various ICAR institutes to facilitate the climate change research. The construction and operation of psychometric chambers have been undertaken for studying the effect of different environmental conditions viz., temperature, humidity, and air movement on livestock, with special reference to cattle and buffaloes, environmental growth chambers with CO2 and temperature controls and special calorimetric system to study livestock response to heat stress. Custom hiring centers (CHCs) have been established in 121 NICRA villages to ensure availability of farm implements for timely operations.
This information was given in a written reply by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar in Rajya Sabha today.