16th, November 2015, New Delhi
The SAARC Regional Training on Smart Practices for Climate Resilient Agriculture: was inaugurated at National Agricultural Science Complex, New Delhi. This 5 day training is being jointly organized by ICAR, New Delhi; SAARC Agriculture Centre, Dhaka; SAARC Forestry Centre, Thimpu; and International Food Policy Research Institute. The training aims at capacity building on Climate Smart Resilient Agriculture Technologies in SAARC countries. Delegates from Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Combodia are participating.
Dr. A.K. Sikka, DDG (Natural Resource Management) while inaugurating the programme stated that climate has been changing and the magnitude of change is likely to be more prominent in coming years. He mentioned that climate change has, now, become a global concern because of its potential threats to sustainable economic development. Climate change may bring further risks and unpredictability to harvest, from rise in temperature and related aridity, shifts in rainfall patterns, or the frequency and duration of extreme weather events. In this scenario robust and resilient agricultural systems are needed to meet the growing demands for food and feed. He further elaborated that due to impact of climate change on land and water resources, insect pest populations, diseases etc. will lead to change in productivity and profitability of agriculture. Particularly South Asia as a region, and the resource poor people here, are at maximum risk. He mentioned that agroforestry as one of the potential options in mitigating climatic change effects through microclimatic modulation and carbon sequestration. Through Agroforestry, many countries have been able to increase their forest/tree cover to meet the specific national targets, which otherwise are quite difficult to achieve for lack of sufficient forest land. Dr Sikka opined that trainings on smart practices for climate resilient agriculture will lead to capacity building to handle the changing climate in the South Asian Region.
Dr. Sangay, Director, SAARC Forestry Centre, Thimpu, Bhutan in his opening remarks emphasized the role of SAARC to reduce the poverty and improving food and nutritional security in South Asian Region. He also highlighted the role of India in developing and disseminating climate resilient technologies in the region.
Dr. S. K. Chaudhary (ADG - Soil and Water Management), Dr. S. P. Kimothi (ADG –Coordination), Dr Avinash Kishore (IFPRI, South Asia office), Dr. S. K. Dhyani (Former Director DAFR, Jhansi) also shared their views on this occasion.
Dr. Tayan Raj Gurung, Senior Program Specialist, NRM, SAARC Agriculture Centre, Dhaka, Bangladesh extended vote of thanks to the guests, organizing partners and participants.