By guest blogger S. Gopikrishna Warrier
What can be done today to protect South Asia’s agriculture from climate change impacts occurring in 2020?
To find crafty and viable solutions to this question, experts from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka joined forces with the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) South Asia, in Dhaka, Bangladesh in late February of this year. Read more »
by Hilde Zevenbergen
Tamil Nadu is a state in Southern India that sets itself apart from other agriculture-dependent regions, as it has historically performed rather well when it comes to agricultural production. One reason is that here, farmers are relatively more responsive and receptive to changing technologies and market forces.
To learn more about these farmers' adaptability to new technologies and potential experiences with crop insurance, especially from community-based crop insurance structures, researchers ventured out into Vellore, a Tamil Nadu district. The objective was to find out if climate insurance schemes could be a viable instrument to help farmers manage ongoing weather related risks, and how it has been used up to now in this area via community-based insurance activities.
The initial findings from the field study show that even if insurance schemes could be a solution to decrease vulnerability and ensure income stability, farmers’ awareness of the product and its functions need to be strengthened in order to make sure it is used efficiently. Read more »
by Miranda Morgan
I had just arrived at our training venue in Dhaka and watched as the manager stood at the top of the stairs, violently screaming orders at the woman rushing around to help me. When I expressed my distaste for his behavior, especially on my behalf, he smiled and explained why he felt he could treat her like that. “Don’t worry”, he said, “she’s just the cleaning lady”.
A few days later, the research assistants we are working with to implement the study were struggling to learn one particular research tool. One of the few women in the group bravely attempted to facilitate the session but it was not an easy task. Smirking, one of the men observing the exercise pointedly said to us, “this is what you get as a result of affirmative action”, as if the failure of the exercise was her fault and an obvious consequence of involving women in the research.
The irony that both of these incidents occurred as we conducted training for a study investigating power relations between and among men and women was not lost on me. Read more »
by Melody Braun
Fish and fisheries play an important role in food security in Bangladesh, as fish represents 58 percent of all animal protein consumption, as well as a good source of vitamins and nutrients. However, natural fish populations depend on favorable environmental conditions that allow them to complete their natural life cycle. Increased incidence of floods, droughts and erratic rainfall, related to climate change, negatively affect species diversity, composition and productivity.
As mentioned in our previous story "Gender attitudes and practices investigated in Bangladesh", CCAFS is currently supporting a WorldFish project, called The Smart Farm. This project is looking at strategies to enhance both the productivity and diversity of fish in the context of a changing climate, seasonality, and patterns of inundation. Read more »
by PK Aggarwal, GD Bhatta, PK Joshi, SA Prathapar, ML Jat, P Mathur and M Kadian
Recently, the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Climate Change (CCAFS) introduced the model of ”Climate Smart Villages (CSVs)”. The idea was to raise awareness among farming communities in South Asia about various technological, institutional and policy-oriented options that have the potential to increase their climatic resilience, adaptation, agricultural productivity and income, while reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.
Interventions that were made, related to weather, water, carbon, nutrient, energy and knowledge management, are currently being evaluated by the farming communities in a participatory way. Read more »
by Jacob van Etten
“So we pulled out the radishes!” We are standing next to a plot with three different wheat varieties in a CCAFS-led Climate-Smart Village in Vaishali district, India. Farmers here are testing out wheat varieties we supplied to them through a climate change adaptation project. “The wheat seeds arrived late, but we still wanted to test them. So we made the space.”
During our visit to Vaishali, it was clear that farmers liked the new wheat varieties. Read more »
by Floriane Clement
International climate change debates are often based upon simplistic assumptions of how men and women perceive and address risks and uncertainty. For instance, women are commonly portrayed as a homogenous group who are always more vulnerable than men to climate change simply because they are women. Yet the relationship between gender, poverty and vulnerability is neither straightforward, nor universal (Arora-Jonsson, 2011).
Just to illustrate, in some areas of Nepal it was found that poor women from landless households are more likely to attend community meetings and speak up because they feel less constrained by social norms than women from higher class and caste (Agarwal, 2010). They have therefore a higher capability to influence community decisions that might affect their vulnerability. Read more »
by Vanessa Meadu
In Sri Lanka, where climate change is expected to contribute to rising temperatures and changes in the quantity and distribution of rainfall, there are serious concerns about the impacts on farming. This extends to the livelihoods of smallholder farmers who rely on the land for income, and also the food security of Sri Lankans who rely on key crops for food.
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI), which has been working in partnership with Sri Lankan government agencies in 2009, has made a significant contribution to the development of Sri Lanka’s climate change adaptation policies. Read more »
By Aditi Kapoor
I was apprehensive. The training of trainers (ToT) had gone off well, and our partner organisation, the Bihar Mahila Samakhya, was well versed in carrying out training programmes, boasted good training facilities, had demonstrative experience of mobilising rural elected women and enjoyed a certain degree of acceptance by the district administration. The State Panchyati Raj Department had circulated a letter to all District Administration heads to ensure that elected women leaders would be able to attend the training workshops. Yet, I was nervous.
There were many questions in my mind: Would the trainers be able to bring to the fore the complex links between ‘Gender, Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security,’ the topic for training? Would the trainers remember what they had learnt from the many presentations at the ToT?? Would they be able to use the training manual effectively? Would they be able to link the subject matter of the training to the lives of their trainees? Would the elected women trainers really participate in the roll out of the trainings across 17 districts?
by Deepshikha Sharma
In this video, Gopal Datt Bhatta, Science Officer for CCAFS South Asia, talks about the current climate smart agricultural interventions being rolled-out in India, Nepal and Bangladesh, documented through participatory video projects. The regional program is also implementing climate smart villages in India, introducing new technologies, practices and crops to the community members.
Deepshikha Sharma is Communications Manager at CCAFS South Asia Regional program.
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)