Sunday, July 22, 2007

Adapting in India: policy discussion

Daily News and Analysis (India): Waking up to the multi-pronged impact of climate change on agriculture, scientists in the country have started working on ways to tackle the challenge. In a discussion on 'Climate Change and Agriculture' at a Parliamentary Consultative Committee meeting on Thursday, Union minister for agriculture Sharad Pawar said the task includes weighing technological, agronomic and other options and evolving appropriate strategies…

“Irrespective of the outcome of international negotiations on climatic change, agriculture has to become more competitive, efficient, profitable, and develop mechanisms to reduce its vulnerability,” said Pawar.

Pawar said farmers, scientists and policy makers should address these issues in totality and develop strategies to increase adaptive capacity. He said the country had addressed climatic extremes such as drought by establishing buffer food stocks, strengthening irrigation infrastructure, and developing agricultural insurance schemes.

Now, he said, there was a need to put more emphasis on “anticipatory adaptation measures, especially ‘no-regret’ adaptation strategies” to attain development goals even if there is no climatic change or its magnitude is different from current projections.

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