by Giriraj Amarnath
Floods are major natural disasters that affect many regions around the world year after year, causing loss of lives, damaging economies and human health. More than one-third of the world’s land area is flood-prone, affecting about 82% of the world’s population. According to the International Disaster Database (2012), about 3,000 million people in more than 110 countries are affected by catastrophic flooding. Destructive floods are common in tropics, particularly in Asia. Worldwide, about 212,460 deaths are associated with floods during 1980-2011. Read more »
By S. N. Sharma and Mritunjaya Kumar
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) South Asia office, in partnership with IFFCO Foundation, India, recently started piloting climate smart agriculture technologies in three villages of Vaishali district, Bihar, India.
Given the pilot got underway less than a year ago progress is impressive with solid impacts already demonstrated in the ground and importantly trust of the farmers is evident. Read more »
By Jaya Gurung and Chandra Adhikari
The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security's (CCAFS) South Asia regional office recently began a Climate Smart Agriculture Learning Platform (CSALP), which aims at improving communication between scientists, policy makers, political leaderships, farmers and other stakeholders on best “climate smart” farming practices. This is vital in a region where one-third of the world’s poorest and malnourished people live. The learning platform publishes quarterly e-newsletter, organizes the Science-Policy-People Interface on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, and initiates discussions, with media, political leadership and other stakeholders on the issues of climate change, agriculture and food security. This platform was inaugurated by the Rt. Honorable President of Nepal, Dr. Rambaran Yadav on 20April 2012 and subsequently released the first issue of the newsletter. Honorable President Dr. Yadav appreciated the efforts of interface among researcher, policy makers and farmers. President Dr. Yadav drew the attention of scientific communities for the fast deteriorating condition of the Chure Bhabar range, the buffer zone of the Mountain Hill and Terai Plain. Dr. Yadav also wished the workshop be productive. Read more »
By Marta Rivera-Ferre, Di Masso, Mailhos, López-i-Gelats, Gallar, Vara, and Cuellar
Local traditional knowledge (LTK) refers to institutionalized local knowledge, the know-how accumulated across generations, guiding human societies in their interactions with their environment. LTK is the basis for local-level decision-making in many rural communities and ensures the well-being of people through its multipurpose functions, including food security. However, LTK is rarely considered in the design of modern climate change (CC) adaptation (and mitigation) strategies. Adaptation is about changing policies, behaviour or infrastructures, and thus, depends on cultural factors, institutions or social networks. Incorporating LTK can be of great interest to develop such strategies in conjunction with local people. A study was performed focused on the most common LTK strategies for agriculture (LTKA) found in the IGP region and its potential capacity to CC adaptation and food security. Read more »
By Rasheed Sulaiman
Indian agriculture is extremely sensitive to climate change and its impact is increasing over time1. The Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGPs) in India, which is considered as its “bread basket” providing food security and employment to several hundred millions of people, is extremely vulnerable to climate risks2,3. Adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change is therefore vital for securing agricultural growth and poverty reduction for this region.
Adaptation is not a new phenomenon per se in agriculture as agricultural systems have always been responding to improved technologies, better market opportunities and changing weather patterns. However the nature and speed of adaptation vary considerably in different regions and among varied social groups. Understanding this process of local adaptation or innovation is extremely important for the successful design of policies, programmes and interventions that address climate risks. Read more »
By Krishna Krishnamurthy
Nepal is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate risks, and food security is especially sensitive to climate variability. For example, over the last decade, around 30,845 hectares of land owned by almost 5% of households became uncultivable due to climate-related hazards. In the Eastern Terai, too, the unusually low rains of 2005/2006 associated with the early monsoon resulted in crop losses of 30%; the cold wave of 1997/1998 also had negative impacts on agricultural productivity resulting in losses of up to 38% for chickpea and lentils, and 28% for potato. Read more »
By Savita Aggarwal
Many regions in India are characterized by water scarcity which affects the well-being of millions of the poorest people. In India as well as many other developing countries, 20% households still do not have provision of adequate water for domestic use. This has resulted in a significant loss of time and effort, especially on the part of women, who most often have to bear the burden of water collection. The female children have to share the temporal and physical burden of carrying water, often leading to very large gender gaps in school attendance in many countries. Translating the losses borne by girls and women in terms of man (woman) hours and economics shows a loss of human capital and reduction in the ability of the household to capitalize fully on its other resources. Read more »
By Hemant Ojha
Studies show that agriculture is highly affected by climate change and variabilities. But there is a big black hole in our knowledge on the capacity of agricultural systems to adapt to climate change, as the effects cannot be estimated through bio-physical impact modeling alone.
Human beings have always learned to adapt to various forms of adversity and uncertainties. Not surprisingly, agriculture is the sector where humanity has the largest pool of knowledge about managing the environment. Before science came to prominence in the eighteenth century, our farmer ancestors continuously experimented with crops, animals, and techniques of cultivation to cope with diverse environmental risks and difficulties they faced in various epochs and periods. Read more »
Raj Krishna Mushyan and Padam Bahadur Shrestha, both farmers from Nepal talk about the climate smart agriculture learning platform, recently launched in the South Asia benchmark site and about the changing climate in their areas affecting their lives and farms.
Raj Krishna Mushyan:
My village Madhyapur Thimi is known as the green vegetable garden of Kathmandu valley, where majority of Newars (ethnic group) are still engaged in agriculture, mostly in vegetable production. We grow a variety of vegetables and supply them to the Kathmandu valley. I can recall changing pattern of farming within our community over the years. Read more »
by A.K. Singh
The impacts of climate change on agriculture are being witnessed all over the world, but countries like India, with >80% of small and marginal farmers with poor coping mechanisms, are more vulnerable in view of their dependence on agriculture and excessive pressure on natural resources. In the recent years, there has been a significant rise in the frequency of extreme weather events affecting farm level productivity and impacting availability of staple food grains at the national level. Within a season, severe droughts and floods are being experienced in the same region, worsening the plight of all stakeholders. Read more »
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)