National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture
National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) was launched during February 2011 by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) with the funding from Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India.
Objective of this initiative is to enhance the resilience of Indian agriculture covering crops, livestock and fisheries to climatic variability and climate change through development and application of improved production and risk management technologies. Under this initiative, the site specific technology packages are demonstrated on the farmer’s fields so that they can be educated for adapting to current climate risks. Another objective is to enhance the capacity of scientists and other stakeholders in climate resilient agricultural research and its application.
The scheme was to be implemented for the remaining two years (2010–11 and 2011–12) of the XI Plan. The outlay was Rs. 350 Crores for XI Plan out of which Rs. 200 crores is allocated for 2010-2011 and Rs. 150 crores for 2011-2012. The scheme continues this year also and Rs. 80 Crore has been set aside for this scheme in Union Budget 2013-14.
There are four components of the scheme as follows:
- Strategic research on adaptation and mitigation.
- Technology demonstration to cope with current climate variability in 100 vulnerable districts.
- Capacity building
- Sponsored competitive research to fill critical gaps
The 21 Institutes of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research are there for the strategic research.
- Critical assessment of different crops/zones in the country for vulnerability to climatic stresses and extreme events, in particular, intra seasonal variability of rainfall.
- Installation of the state-of-the-art equipment like flux towers for measurement of green house gases in large field areas to understand the impact of management practices and contribute data on emissions.
- Rapid and large scale screening of crop germplasm including wild relatives for drought and heat tolerance through phenomics platforms for quick identification of promising lines and early development and release of heat/drought tolerant varieties.
- Comprehensive field evaluation of new and emerging approaches of paddy cultivation like aerobic rice and SRI for their contribution to reduce the GHG emissions and enhance water saving.
- Special attention to livestock and fishery sectors including aquaculture which have not received enough attention in climate change research in the past. In particular, the documentation of adaptive traits in indigenous breeds will be the most useful step.
- Thorough understanding of crop-pest/pathogen relationship and emergence of new biotypes due to climate change.
- Simultaneous up-scaling of the outputs both through KVKs and the National Mission on
- Sustainable Agriculture for wider adoption by the farmers