While discussing about the action plan to address the adverse impact of climate change on food crops, in the Rajya Sabha, the NICRA initiative of ICAR was highlighted.
NICRA or National Initiative in Climate Resilient Agriculture was launched in 2011 by the ICAR. The flagship project was launched with the aim of:
- Conducting strategic research on adaptation and mitigation.
- Demonstrating technologies on farmers’ fields.
- Creating awareness among farmers to reduce the impacts of global warming on agriculture.
Works under the Scheme
Some of the work accomplished under the initiative were highlighted in the Rajya Sabha discussion:
- Large number of indigenous crop varieties were screened for resilience to major abiotic stresses like heat and drought. These include pulse varieties like black gram, green gram, pigeon pea and chickpea and cereals like wheat and rice.
- From this, superior cultivars were identified for large scale adoption by farmers for cultivation in the fields.
- Location specific NRM (Natural Resource Management) technologies were demonstrated in 151 districts that are climatically vulnerable. This was done under the technology demonstration component of the initiative.
Impact of Climate Change on Indian Agriculture
Several studies show that the climate change would reduce the productivity in paddy cultivation by 7% in 2050 and by 10% in 2080. By the end of this century, wheat yields are expected to drop by 6 to 25%. Kharif yields are expected to drop by 18 to 23% by 2050 and 2080.