Climate Smart Agriculture

CLIMATE SMART AGRICULTURE

Climate adaptive initiatives

Promoting climate-smart agriculture for marginal farmers in all states of Eastern and North-eastern India through technology cooperation is a prime concern for SAFE.This program aims in enabling marginal farmers and fishers to adopt and implement less water intensive and low chemical intensive farming practices for mainstreaming them to the future carbon markets.More than 1, 3500 farmers and fishers are included in these programs, which are benefitting from capacity building and technology cooperation, financial inclusion, social adhesion and mainstreaming through Farmers Federation activities.

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APN-GCR-ARCP

Impacts of Crop Residue Removal for Biomass Energy on Soil Function; Studies to recommend Climate Adaptive Agricultural Waste Management
The research project started in year 2014, with fund support from APN-GCR (Asia Pacific Network- Global Change Research) and ongoing.
Located: India, Bhutan, Philippines

SAFE has initiated an action research on agricultural waste management under the APN ARCP GlobalChange Research: this action research is undergoing in Central Luzon State University, in Philippines, Renewable Natural Resource Centres in Bhutan and as well in Indian states of West Bengal and Bihar.The research experiments to develop a decision support system for agricultural waste management to show that crop waste keeping and using can be a smarter intervention than straight burning it.Mostly, in South Asian countries the agricultural wastes are burnt by the marginal farmers for yielding biomass energy or just as a method of disposal, wherein the ash is thrown in the farmlands which deteriorates the soil function and fertility.Agricultural wastes if used as compost will only increase soil organic matter, and the mulch will retain soil moisture.The research also focuses on the impact of the practice in enhancing soil carbon sequestration potentials through change detection studies.

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Objectives: The purpose of the research is to study the impacts of residue-keeping versus residue burning on soil characteristics and agriculture in the perspective of climate change and therefore focus on post-harvest agricultural waste management practices that are not climate friendly.For instance, the bagasse in sugarcane cultivation is removed and burnt to meet energy needs by farmers and because of poor energy conversion systems; a large quantity of emission is released.It is therefore essential to demonstrate benefits of alternative management practices through empirical evidences.

Outcomes:
1. Crop Alternatives assessed for energy, environmental and economic viability for sustainable use.
2. Capacity building of subsistence farmers and agriculturists towards sustainable farming practices involving efficient crop waste recycling.
3. Validated and locally relevant conservation practices includes contour cropping or conservation tillage to compensate for the loss of erosion protection and soil organic matter reductions seen with residue removal.
4. Periodic Monitoring and Assessment for fertility testing and removal rates in response to adverse changes in soil quality.
5. Rational Residue Removal Rates: Sustainable crop residue removal rates for bio-fuel production will vary with management, yield, and soil type.The results would help determine specific practices in diverse cropping systems.

The collaborators also contribute in project implementation in respective countries, data analysis and interpretation, methodology, feedback and review conducted by SAFE project team.Activities related to capacity building and community communication will be joint responsibilities of project leader and collaborators.

SRI & SARP

SRI: Systematic Rice Intensification, SARP: System of Assured Rice Production Started by SAFE in year 2010, with support from NABARD, Agriculture Dept.Govt.of WB

Location: Purulia, West Bengal Brief background SRI & SARP:

Improvement in agricultural technology is the principal means of improving the efficiency of agricultural production, the key to pro-poor economic growth.In Purulia SAFE has provided wide extension services for Farmers Club's activities are sustained and has worked in continuous partnership with the local district agricultural and administrative bodies.The "System of Assured Rice Production" or SARP a technology, have been promoted by the department of agriculture for the cultivation of "Aman" rice.This technology helps to tackle the severe dependence on rainfall.This region has been prone to droughts for centuries and SARP technology is a way of adapting to this situation which has not been adequately explored and researched upon as a structured practice.

Objectives: The main objectives of the program are:

1. To introduce SARP technology for regular usage in the target area through training and demonstration workshops and assess its impact on yield of rice.
2. To build the capacities of farmers clubs in target area so as to modifying as well as introduce alternative agricultural methods for rice cultivation.
3. Mainstreaming poor farmers through social inclusion, capacity building and technology cooperation.
4. To serve as knowledge center for farmers on SARP related issues information.

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Innovation:

Economic constraints and social stress arising from the impacts of climate vulnerability worsens with the scarcity of food, forcing farmers from the region to migrate and become environmental refugees. Their social security, food and economic sustainability are the key issues that this project seeks to address.The target areas are rendered uncultivable and in the absence of disaster adaptive farming techniques it turns propping up poverty. This region has been prone to droughts for centuries and SARP technology is a way of adapting to this situation which has not been adequately explored and researched upon for a structured practice.SARP technology for rice harvest can pave the path for a new horizon in the field of agriculture.The ongoing project innovation aims to transfer SARP technology through Farmers Clubs, to 15000 more farmers in Purulia district.

Outcome:

South Asian Forum for Environment has been successfully implementing various pro poor agricultural technological interventions through organized farmers clubs.One important goal for SAFE is the development of strong farmer organizations, but these needs to be sustained and should not simply be a response to short-term project objectives.It may be argued that too much emphasis has often been given to the mere formation of local organizations and not enough to linking those to external agencies and other services.

SAFE has developed technical experience and successfully undertaken several farmer's community development projects taking on technical responsibilities and has successfully carried out series of SRI training and SARP demonstrations with the farmers in Purulia.