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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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$24 Billion Needed for Sustainable Agriculture Initiative in India

March 14, 2011 |

According to the Hindustani Times, India’s agriculture ministry says that it needs 1,08,000 crore (~$24 billion) over the next 5 years for implementing the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture under the Prime Minister’s National Action Plan on Climate Change.

A majority of the money, over 60%, will be put toward the development of new technologies, crop varieties, and practices to mitigate climate change.

The purpose of the National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture is to build up Indian agriculture’s defenses against climate change through the identification of new crop varieties, particularly those able to handle rising global temperatures.  A combination of conventional and innovative agricultural practices, IT, and biotech will be used to achieve the Mission’s goals.

According to LEAD India, the Mission focuses on rain-fed agricultural zones and suggests:

  • Development of drought and pest resistant crop varieties
  • Improving methods to conserve soil and water
  • Stakeholder consultations, training workshops and demonstration exercises for farming communities, for agro-climatic information sharing and dissemination
  • Financial support to enable farmers to invest in and adopt relevant technologies to overcome climatic related stresses

In addition, the Mission makes suggestions for safeguarding farmers against increased risk due to climate change. These suggestions include, strengthening agricultural and weather insurance; creation of web-enabled, regional language based services for facilitation of weather-based insurance; development of GIS and remote sensing methodologies; mapping vulnerable regions and disease hotspots; and developing and implementing region-specific, vulnerability based contingency plans.

Sources: Hindustani Times, LEAD India