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Sustainable farming practices can help Indian farmers counter climate change

Bundelkhand, Tue, 30 Jul 2013 ANI

Bundelkhand (Madhya Pradesh), July 30 (ANI): Farming has never been easy. Farmers have to face a host of challenges, the most difficult of which is dealing with the uncertainties of nature.

In the current global scenario, climate change is adding to their woes. The solution lies in promoting farming techniques which will help farmers in adapting to the changing climate without reducing their agricultural income.

Dr.Nishi Rai, a scientist working at the KrishiVigyan Kendra asserts, "In the arid and semi - arid belts, we should opt for drought resistant and short duration seed varieties that are less vulnerable to climate change. For example swarna and poorna varieties of wheat use less water and grow in less timeand so are more suitable for drought prone areas."

Along with climate resilient crop varieties, organic farming, water efficient irrigation techniques, line sowing, dry sowing etc. are other sustainable agricultural practices that farmers need to adopt to reduce their vulnerability to climate change as well as save resources.

"If you opt for sprinkler irrigation system or drip irrigation in your fields, it saves up to 30 to 40 percent water," said S.B.Pandey, an agricultural scientist working with Development Alternatives - an organisation working to promote natural resource management in Bundelkhand, one of Central India's most climate sensitive regions.

Green shade nets that help in temperature control for germination of seedlings also need to be promoted to help farmers grow cash crops like vegetables to increase their adaptive capacities.

These sustainable farming techniques can help farmers across all dry, drought prone regions of India to build their resilience to withstand the impacts of climate change.

Mr.K.R.Viswanathan, Deputy Head, Climate Change and Development Division, Embassy of Switzerland while talking of the way forward, said: "What is important is to ensure that these agricultural technologies get properly mainstreamed and integrated into state level policies, programs and budgets in order to achieve climate resilient development in India." By Neelam Ahluwalia, Development Alternatives (ANI)

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