Context: The Climate-Smart Villages project in Madhya Pradesh was started in 2017 to make agriculture climate-friendly by reducing carbon emissions and changing farming methods.
About Climate Smart Villages Project
- The Climate Smart Villages Project began as a pilot initiative in 2017, with an objective to teach farmers innovative methods of natural farming and reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses emerging from agricultural activities.
- Goal: Reduce the risk and impact of climate change with measures such as soil and water conservation and the cultivation of drought and flood-tolerant seeds.
- Selected areas: The project was initiated in districts whose climate risks included an increase in maximum and minimum temperatures, vagaries of monsoon, increase in the frequency and intensity of rainfall, reduction in the number of rainy days, longer summers and an increase in drought and floods.
- The measures taken under the initiative:
- As part of the project, farmers were given micro fertilizers and seeds that produce yields, even in adverse weather conditions.
- Mulching polythenes that cover the roots of the plants were distributed among farmers to reduce water consumption, as this reduced evaporation from soil.
- Techniques like digging ponds in the fields, direct seeding of paddy, cultivation of pulses and soybeans in raised beds and composting instead of stubble burning were adopted.
- Natural Farming methods using cow dung manure and urine were promoted in place of Chemical Fertilizers.
- The evident Impacts:
- Natural farming techniques reduced the cost, while increasing the quality of soil and crop.
- Nature of soil changed, to be able to harvest crops during deficient monsoons.
- Chemical Fertilizers not being used reduced the Carbon Emission levels.
- Production levels and yield have also increased in focus districts.
- According to the NITI Aayog report, 20% of India’s total carbon emissions come from agricultural activities; and India has to meet its National Determined Contribution (NDC) commitments under the Paris Agreement.
- Hence the need for localized impactful measures in other parts of India to mitigate the impacts of Climate Change.