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Mega workshop on “Climate Resilient Agriculture (CRA) program” organized in Delhi 

By Santanu Mukherjee

Participants during the CRA workshop in Delhi

On January 18 and 19, 2023, a two-day mega workshop on the Climate Resilient Agriculture (CRA) Program was held in Dwarka, New Delhi. 

Around 90 members were participated in this program and benefited from it. During the workshop, the attendees discussed and learned about solar harvesting, carbon credit, crop residue management, climate resilient cultivars, millets and pulses in cropping systems, and maize drying and processing. 

Delivering the keynote address Dr. Arun Kumar Joshi, MD, Borlaug Institute for South Asia said “under the guidance of the Honourable Chief Minister of Bihar, Shri Nitish Kumar the Climate Resilient Agriculture program has touched the new heights. If more farmers embrace the CRA technology the agricultural growth will be exponential in near future in a sustainable manner.” 

He also emphasised the role of collaborating institutions and scientists and said that “because of their hard work including the staff of Krishi Vigyan Kendras, farmers are now more aware about climate resilient agriculture and how they can reduce the risk and get more profit in lesser cost. Constant monitoring and guidance by Dr N. Saravana Kumar, Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Government of Bihar has fastened the momentum of the project in achieving its milestones. 

Dr. Arun Joshi, MD, BISA sharing his thoughts during the workshop

Dr. Joshi also added that Indian farmers struggle with climate change, declining resources, and revenues as well as weakening soil health. CRA program of Bihar government has given a new life to farmers hope of sustaining their income and livelihood. They have learned to save water, time, fertilizer, and other resources using appropriate seeds, machines, soil and water management, plant protection, and increasing linkage with the value chain. Energy efficient technologies such as solar power irrigation, carbon farming and residue management will go a long way to keep the planet safe from global warming and pollution.  

Dr. Raj Kumar Jat, Senior Scientist and Station Incharge, BISA, Pusa introducing BISA and briefing on the CRA Program said “BISA is an international organization jointly established by the Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR) and Government of India, and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT – Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz Y Trigo), Mexico. The purpose of BISA is to use the latest technologies in agriculture to boost agricultural productivity and sustainably fulfil the demands of the future. BISA is more than just an organization; it is a commitment to the people of South Asia, especially the farmers, and a coordinated effort to spur the second Green Revolution.” 

Dr. Raj Kumar explained how the institution with the other partners is reaching out to the farmers with the climate resilient agriculture technology and practices and how it is using the UAV (Unmanned Arial Vehicle) technology in the farmers’ field. He also informed how the UAV institution is using in agricultural operations, mostly for yield optimization and for monitoring crop development and production. 

To help farmers adapt to the changing climatic conditions, global warming, and lower greenhouse gas emissions, the agriculture sector in the nation and around the world needs an increasing number of innovations and technologies.  There are many well-proven solutions that can improve clim/ate resilience, added Dr. Raj Kumar. 

Training and funding farmers to embrace them has been the bigger problem, however CRA partners with the state government has been constantly working since 2019 to help the farmers in the country understand the importance of these technologies and that is, now shaping up.    

During the workshop Dr. Anjani Kumar, Director, ICAR-ATARI, Patna, Dr. Ashutosh Upadhyaya, Director ICAR-RCER, Patna, Anil Jha, Nodal Officer, CRA Program Government of Bihar, Dr. Vijay Singh Meena, Project Coordinator and Dr. Illathur Rajesh Reddy were present. Representatives from other international organizations like IRRI, CIP and ICRISAT were also present including Dr Arvind Kumar, DDG, ICRISAT, Hyderabad.