Bihar agriculture minister visits climate-smart villages

The Agriculture Minister of Bihar visiting a zero-tillage wheat field in Bhagwatpur Climate-Smart Village of Samstipur district in Bihar. Photo: Deepak, CIMMYT

The Borlaugh Institute for South Asia together with the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center organised a farmers' field day and seminar to showcase climate-smart agriculture practices in Bihar.

The Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA) and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) recently organised a field day and an on-farm seminar on climate-smart agriculture practices at a climate-smart village in Bhagwatpur in Samastipur district of Bihar. Bihar Agriculture Minister Vijay Chaudhary, was the chief guest at the event. N.K Singh, Professor and Head, Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics, Rajendra Agriculture University, Pusa, gave an overview of how direct-seeded rice is one such climate-smart rice production practice in Bihar.

Read more about climate-smart villages

Raj Kumar Jat, BISA-CIMMYT cropping systems agronomist, elaborated the experiences of different climate-smart agriculture practices being implemented in close collaboration with several stakeholders, such as the Indian Council for Agriculture Research, Rajendra Agriculture University and farmers groups, in various climate-smart villages in Bihar. The project is part of CCAFS efforts to improve the adaptive capacity of farmers under climate change and climate variability.
He shared a roadmap on how to increase the cropping intensity in Bihar by 300 percent. This was possible with timely planting (first fortnight of June) of short/medium duration rice varieties with direct-seeding technique followed by early planting (last week of October) of suitable wheat varieties under zero-tillage and then timely planting (last week of March) of the summer mung bean crop under zero-tillage. These practices were climate resilient and could help escape the terminal heat in wheat and save on scarce resources.

A farmers' field day and seminar was organised by bisa and cimmyt, in bihar (photo: Deepak, Cimmyt) 

On his visit, Mr Chaudhary was pleased to see how farmers are benefiting from climate-smart agriculture practices and asked farmers and the state agriculture extension officers to accelerate adoption of these technologies. He acknowledged that more training for farmers was required in this regard. Together with 600 farmers and officials, he visited the wheat crop planted under zero-tillage in Bhagwatpur climate-smart village and appreciated the efforts made by the project team.

R.K. Jat is cropping systems agronomist in BISA-CIMMYT, and M.L. Jat is a senior cropping agronomist in CIMMYT