Wednesday, May 9, 2012

South Asia gets climate-smart learning platform

Smriti Mallapaty in A new learning platform aims to facilitate the sharing of 'climate-smart' agriculture practices that address growing concerns about food security, climate change adaptation and mitigation in South Asia. The Climate Smart Agriculture Learning Platform for South Asia was launched last month (23 April) by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).

It will provide opportunities for scientists, policy planners, civil society, and farmers in South Asia to collaborate and share expertise. "This platform is designed to facilitate the science–policy–people interface in South Asia, and to work as a clearing house for climate-smart agricultural practices," said Pramod Aggarwal, CCAFS regional programme leader for South Asia.

The initiative will include annual meetings of policymakers, academics, and farmers in South Asian countries, and quarterly e-newsletters to help strengthen farmers' resilience and encourage efficient consumption of resources such as energy and water. 

Examples of climate smart initiatives include providing weather data to farmers via mobile phones, index-based insurance schemes, development of salt- and drought-tolerant rice varieties, and rainwater harvesting.

"We have to ensure … that knowledge flows two ways — top-down and bottom-up," Dhrupad Choudhury, coordinator of the International Fund for Agriculture Development at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, in Nepal, told SciDev.Net....

Farms in Tamil Nadu, India, shot by Felix Francis, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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