Interventions: Climate Change and Sustainable Development:
Capacity Building...

State Workshop on Best Practices of Agricultural Adaptation

15-16 February 2013

The farmers overwhelmingly expressed a serious concern with agriculture in times of climate change. Most of them have been bewildered by the change in the temperature, rainfall, snowfall patterns and do not know how to react to it. Policy responses too slow and too far apart, have failed to support them through adequate information, new and improved seeds and crops, irrigation technologies, risk and insurance coverage. Very few adaptation strategies except System of Crop Intensification, water harvesting and organic farming came to light. Most of them have reached the dead end of adaptation, and were left with no option but to migrate and swell the ranks of slum dwellers in nearby cities. This is particularly true for apple growers, who say that the apple line has moved to more than 1000 feet upwards. Farmers who depended on livestock also fared no better. People are forced to sell buffaloes (worth 30,000 to 35,000) to the abattoirs, who rate them on the basis of the quantity to meat they can provide (price typically ranging between Rs. 500-1000).

Farmers shared these experiences in a Workshop on “best practices of agricultural adaptation” organized by a number of NGOs including CECOEDECON, PAIRVI, UDI, HARC, PSI, Casa Mountain in collaboration with Oxfam India at Dehradun on 15th and 16th February.
 
Context and background
In the inaugural session, Ajay Jha (PAIRVI) speaking on behalf of organizers said, that there has been little support to agricultural adaptation (against climate change impacts), which needs to be identified and promoted through policy and financial support. He added that National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture (NMSA), which is designed to increase resilience of agriculture through adaptation has very little to support adaptation. It is extremely technology centric, mitigation focused, promotes BT as one shoe fits all solution, and also promotes conversion of C3 crops into C4 crops, which is scientifically tedious. Besides, a large amount of money will be spent on technology promotion, and R&D, (85% all together) leaving little for capacity building. The Mission is focused on PPP in agriculture, which will only increase dominance of agri business companies on seeds, agricultural products and practices, agri research and markets. The focus on BT will increase monocropping severely affecting the diversity of crops and food. He also emphasized the direction of agriculture in the coming 12th Plan and said that 12th Plan will encourage small farmers to quit agriculture, without creating any alternative livelihood opportunity for them. He added that policy is geared to transform farmers into Farmer Producers Organizations, and farmers who fail to understand these nuances, will have to exit. He informed that a whole set of changes including those in tenancy and land lease Acts, APMC Act, modernization of mandis and market connectivity are being planned to facilitate taking agriculture from primary to secondary sector, which needs to be watched cautiously.
 
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