Impact through policies and partnerships

P. Vishwanathan (IWMI)
Outcomes & Impacts

Thousands of villages in South Asia partner with CCAFS to become climate-smart hotspots

South Asia
Climate-Smart Technologies and Practices

Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) is playing a key role in sustainably increasing agricultural productivity, given the mandate of doubling global food production by 2050 to meet the needs of a growing population. CCAFS, in collaboration with partners at multiple levels, is working with rural communities to develop climate-smart villages (CSVs). The CSV approach tests and documents CSA options that ensure food security, promote adaptation and build resilience to climatic stresses, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions when possible. A strength of the CSV approach is its inclusiveness: CSVs bring together farmers, policy makers, scientists and local organizations to work on a portfolio of locally relevant practices that link to government’s existing village development schemes and investments.

In 2011, CCAFS and its partners in South Asia initiated the CSV Agricultural Research for Development (AR4D) approach in 30+ CSVs in different states of Bangladesh, India, and Nepal. Areas of intervention in the AR4D sites include agronomic practices, weather insurance, weather forecasts, agricultural diversification, stress-tolerant crop varieties, community management of soil and water resources, and policies related to water, energy, and carbon management. All three countries are now scaling out CSA: in Bangladesh (Barisal, Khulna, Sylhet), India (Andra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Utter Pradesh), and Nepal (Bardiya, Dang, Gorkha, Mahotari, Nawalparasi).

Today, in South Asia, governments, private sector and development partners are scaling up the CSV approach and related local actions in more than 2,000 villages. This involves building portfolios of interventions together with farmers, in collaboration with National Agricultural Research Systems, CGIAR centers, local universities, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and farmers’ groups.

In Nepal, the national government began rolling out the CSV approach as part of its key policies for 2016-17 with the aim to create linkages between farmers, government and private sector. This was catalyzed by learnings from CCAFS projects Nepal and the South Asia region. Focus areas of the government’s CSV program are promotion of solar-based irrigation systems, improved seeds, nutrient management, ITC-based climate information and agro-advisory services, and agriculture insurance.

CCAFS has teamed up with Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) and an ICT provider to offer mobile and web-based climate information and agro-advisory services to farmers in CSVs. CCAFS has partnered with Practical Action Consulting, the International Finance Corporation and the government to link 15,000 farmers to lead companies in sugarcane, rice and maize in order to enhance the long-term productivity of these key crops.

Expansion of CSVs is also taking off in India, where state governments, NGOs and private sector are using the lessons learned from CCAFS CSV AR4D approach to scale up CSA practices and technologies in 6 different states. In 2016, the State Governments of Bihar and Madhya Pradesh integrated CSVs in its agricultural development plan that targets many districts, helping several hundreds of thousands smallholder men and women farmers to improve their food, nutrition and livelihoods while coping with climate risks.

CCAFS is also partnering with ITC Limited, a private agribusiness company, to promote the CSV approach in three states of India (Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan) in 2,000 communities by 2019.

“We have seen the weather change to a great extent, low or delayed rainfall has become the norm. This project shows us how in a changing climate, farmers can continue farming with new climate smart technologies.” Horil Singh, farmer, Bihar, India


  • International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
  • International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
  • International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
  • Intenrational Rice Research Institute (IRRI)
  • International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
  • WorldFish
  • Bangladesh government: Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI), Bangladesh Agriculture University, and Department of Fisheries
  • India government: Bihar Agricultural Management & Extension Training Institute (BAMETI), Government of Bihar, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), State Department of Agriculture
  • Nepal government: Department of Environment (DoE), district and village development offices, Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD), Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD), National Planning Commission (NPC), Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC)
  • Development and private sector: BAIF Development Research Foundation, farmer cooperatives, ICT service providers, International Finance Corporation (IFC), ITC Limited, LI-BIRD, machine manufacturers, Practical Action Consulting, seed companies, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)