Climate Change Knowledge Network in Indian Agriculture

Project description

Title: Climate Change Knowledge Network in Indian Agriculture (CCKN-IA)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: India
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Government of India
Overall term: 2013 to 2017

India. Farmer receiving weather information via mobile phone © GIZ

Context

Climate change presents India with major challenges. In the course of the 20th century, the average temperature in the country increased by 0.6°C, and the trend continues upward. Rainfall is becoming less frequent but more intense, which is increasingly affecting the use of natural resources and agricultural production. At the same time, 60 per cent of the agricultural area where yields could be increased are given over to rain-fed agriculture.

The approximately 700 million rural inhabitants in the affected areas of Central and South India are ill-prepared for the consequences of climate change. Smallholder farmers and households that depend primarily on income from rain-fed agriculture are particularly badly affected. They suffer more than others from damage caused by extreme weather events resulting from climate change.

So far, the farmers have received insufficient information on how they can adapt their agricultural activities to climate change. Differing and even contradictory information is often disseminated through a variety of platforms and vendors. No network exists through which to provide updated information in a fast and effective manner to farmers and farmer organisations, policy makers, agricultural extension services and land traders.

Objective

A climate change knowledge network provides information that is increasingly used by relevant actors in agriculture at national, regional and district levels.

Approach

Together with the Division for Rain fed Agriculture at the Ministry of Agriculture, the GIZ project is using an innovative ICT-based knowledge platform to improve the processing and sharing of information on agricultural production, agricultural markets, climate, weather and extreme weather events. The project involves important institutions that can contribute their own information to the platform regarding the climate adaptation of agriculture, while also benefiting from it. The project reinforces the existing extension systems and local networks in order to provide locally relevant information on climate change adaptation, that is both timely and of high quality. Concepts and practical experiences gained from developing this network in the pilot areas of the three states, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Odisha, will provide a foundation upon which to expand the knowledge exchange network throughout India. The target groups are rural women and men threatened by climate change in the three selected states.

The consulting firm GOPA supports the implementation of the project.

India. Farmer sells potatoes on the local market © GIZ

Results

The project has conducted baseline studies in 270 villages to identify the current information needs and flow of information, as well as the technical possibilities for disseminating more information. Based on the findings, and working together with partner institutions, local universities, farmer organisations and governmental and non-governmental organisations, the project has now developed and introduced the technological and institutional details of the network. The project will begin its practical implementation in the next cropping season.