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Govt approves Rs350 cr scheme to address climate change, reduce agri losses

New Delhi: Seeking to address the issue of climate change in the farm sector, the government Wednesday approved a Rs350 crore scheme to study its impact on agriculture with a view to bring down production losses, reports PTI.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the scheme, to be implemented in the remaining part of the current Plan period, to address the impact of climate change on agriculture.

“The main objective of the scheme is to assess the impact of climate change on agriculture and allied sectors in the country and evolve cost-effective adaptation and mitigation strategies,” an official release said.

Under the scheme, the government plans to spend Rs350 crore—Rs200 crore in the current fiscal and the rest in the next fiscal—on research infrastructure, capacity building and on-farm demonstration of the climate resilient technologies.

The scheme would assess vulnerability of agro-climatic regions in detail and its impact on different crops, livestock and fishery sectors.

It will initiate research on adaptation and mitigation at seven major institutes of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

It would also demonstrate available climate resilient practices on farmers’ fields in 100 most vulnerable districts of 27 states in the country.

“During the first year (2010-11), research infrastructure at key institutes of ICAR will be strengthened by installation of state-of-the-art equipment and measurement systems to study climate change impact on major food crops and livestock at an outlay of Rs200 crore,” the release said.

During 2011-12, long-term strategic research programmes would be initiated on crop-improvement to heat and drought stress, management of natural resources for adaptation and mitigation, it said.

It would also focus on innovative livestock management practices to minimise heat stress on animals.

“The scheme would help in identification of at least 15-20 heat/drought tolerant promising cultivars of different crops by the end of the current Plan period.

The outputs are expected to provide adequate resilience to small and marginal farmers and reduce production losses at least by 25%-30%,” it said.

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