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Wayanad rice festival promotes climate-resilient crops

  • Published
    17th Dec, 2022
Context

A Kerala-based Organisation has embarked on a unique conservation experiment, planting 300 climate-resilient varieties of traditional rice in its agroecology centre.

Details:

  • The Kerala-based Organisation named Thanal in an experiment has planted 300 climate-resilient varieties of traditional rice in its agroecology centre in Panavally in the Wayanad district.
    • Thanal allowed the public to experience their initiative by launching Ikki Jathre, or the Festival of Rice.
  • Objectives: To sensitize people to the significance of conserving traditional crops that can withstand harsh climatic conditions.
    • Efforts are on to popularize traditional rice crops among consumers.
    • When the farmers return home from the festival, they would take back seeds and propagate them by exchanging them with their friends.
  • Rice varieties used: Most of the varieties were collected from Kerala, Karnataka, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, and West Bengal.
    • There are three traditional rice varieties from Vietnam and Thailand.

Changing Climate Affecting Agriculture

  • Extreme heat: Crops need suitable soil, water, sunlight, and heat to grow. However, extreme heat events and reductions in precipitation and water availability have hampered crop productivity.
  • Changing Rainfall Patterns: Rainfall patterns have already begun shifting across the country, and such changes are expected to intensify over the coming years.
    • This is likely to mean more intense periods of heavy rain and longer dry periods, even within the same regions.
  • Floods: Flooding in many agricultural regions of the country have been witnessed and these floods have devastated crops and livestock, accelerated soil erosion, and polluted water.

Climate-resilient agriculture (CRA)

  • Climate-resilient agriculture (CRA) is an approach that includes sustainably using existing natural resources through crop and livestock production systems to achieve long-term higher productivity and farm incomes under climate variabilities.
  • Pre-requisites: Improved access and utilization of technology like Gene Editing, transparent trade regimes, increased use of resource conservation technologies, and an increased adaptation of crops and livestock to climatic stress.

Strategies and technologies for climate change adaptation

  • Gene Editing: It is a method to generate DNA modifications at precise genomic locations.
    • These modifications can result in the knockout or knockdown of one or undesirable multiple genes.
  • Tolerant crops: Patterns of drought may need various sets of adaptive forms.
    • To reach deficient downpour conditions, early maturing and drought-tolerant cultivars of green gram (BM 2002-1), chickpea, and pigeon pea (BDN-708) were brought to selected farmer’s fields in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra.
  • Tolerant breeds in livestock and poultry: Indigenous breeds have unique characteristics that are adapted to very specific ecosystems across the world.
  • Feed management: Some feeding methods include altering feeding time or frequency and modification of diet composition, including agroforestry species in the animal diet and training producers in the production and conservation of feed for various agroecological zones.
  • Floating agriculture in Bangladesh: Farmers in Bangladesh who live in areas that remain inundated for long periods every year have traditionally used vasoman chash, or floating agriculture – a system similar to hydroponics, in which plants derive their nutrients not from soil but from water.
  • Rehabilitate Degraded Pastures: Degraded lands are prone to erosion and so retain less water.
    • Degraded pastures can be more sustainably recovered by planting native forage or grass, or by introducing trees in the pasture to avoid soil erosion.

National programs for climate change adaptation:

  • National Mission of Sustainable Agriculture
  • National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC)
  • Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) 
  • Paramparagat Krishi Vikas Yojana mission
  • Green India Mission
  • Soil Health Card scheme
  • Neem-Coated Urea
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