Sunday, March 29, 2009

Innovations in adaptation

New Nation (Bangladesh): Modeling studies undertaken by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) on the potential impact of climate change on dryland crops show that the drop in yields can be minimized through the use of adapted and improved crop varieties plus soil and water management innovations. The interventions can be further strengthened through developing improved varieties and hybrids that are better targeted for climate change adaptation including enhancing capacities of the farming communities.

ICRISAT studies show that climate change will modify the length of the growing period across the semi-arid tropics of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, but this can be dealt with by re-targeting and re-deploying the existing crop varieties.

…Allocation of improved financial resources and policy support to agricultural research to enable dryland crops to overcome the adverse impacts of climate change will help the poor farmers of the semi-arid tropics to sustain their productivity and their incomes in the medium-and long-term, Dr Dar said. ICRISAT studies have generated a "hypothesis of hope", which states:

1. The impact of climate change on the yields under low input agriculture is likely to be minimal as other factors will continue to provide the overriding constraints to crop growth and yield.

2. The adoption of currently recommended improved crop, soil and water management practices, even under climate change, will result in substantially higher yields than farmers are currently obtaining in their low input systems.

3. The adaptation of better 'temperature-adapted' varieties could result in the almost complete mitigation of climate change effects that result from temperature increases….

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