Climate adaptive initiatives
Promoting climate-smart agriculture for marginal farmers in all states of Eastern and North-eastern India through technology cooperation is a prime concern for SAFE. This program aims in enabling marginal farmers and fishers to adopt and implement less water intensive and low chemical intensive farming practices for mainstreaming them to the future carbon markets. More than 1, 3500 farmers and fishers are included in these programs, which are benefitting from capacity building and technology cooperation, financial inclusion, social adhesion and mainstreaming through Farmers Federation activities.
Impacts of Crop Residue Removal for Biomass Energy on Soil Function; Studies to recommend Climate Adaptive Agricultural Waste Management
The research project started in year 2014, with fund support from APN-GCR (Asia Pacific Network- Global Change Research) and ongoing.
Located: India, Bhutan, Philippines
SAFE has initiated an action research on agricultural waste management under the APN ARCP Global Change Research; this action research is undergoing in Central Luzon State University, in Philippines, Renewable Natural Resource Centres in Bhutan and as well in Indian states of West Bengal and Bihar. The research experiments to develop a decision support system for agricultural waste management to show that crop waste keeping and using can be a smarter intervention than straight burning it. Mostly, in South Asian countries the agricultural wastes are burnt by the marginal farmers for yielding biomass energy or just as a method of disposal, wherein the ash is thrown in the farmlands which deteriorates the soil function and fertility. Agricultural wastes if used as compost will only increase soil organic matter, and the mulch will retain soil moisture. The research also focuses on the impact of the practice in enhancing soil carbon sequestration potentials through change detection studies.
Objectives: The purpose of the research is to study the impacts of ‘residue-keeping versus residue burning’ on soil characteristics and agriculture in the perspective of climate change and therefore focus on post-harvest agricultural waste management practices that are not climate friendly. For instance, the bagasse in sugarcane cultivation is removed and burnt to meet energy needs by farmers and because of poor energy conversion systems; a large quantity of emission is released. It is therefore essential to demonstrate benefits of alternative management practices through empirical evidences.
The collaborators also contribute in project implementation in respective countries, data analysis and interpretation, methodology, feedback and review conducted by SAFE project team. Activities related to capacity building and community communication will be joint responsibilities of project leader and collaborators.
SRI: Systematic Rice Intensification, SARP: System of Assured Rice Production
Started by SAFE in year 2010, with support from NABARD, Agriculture Dept.Govt.of WB
Location: Purulia, West Bengal
Brief background SRI & SARP:
Improvement in agricultural technology is the principal means of improving the efficiency of agricultural production, the key to pro-poor economic growth. In Purulia SAFE has provided wide extension services for Farmers Clubs’ activities are sustained and has worked in continuous partnership with the local district agricultural and administrative bodies. The “System of Assured Rice Production” or SARP a technology, have been promoted by the department of agriculture for the cultivation of “Aman” rice. This technology helps to tackle the severe dependence on rainfall. This region has been prone to droughts for centuries and SARP technology is a way of adapting to this situation which has not been adequately explored and researched upon as a structured practice.
Objectives: The main objectives of the program are:
Target groups: Farmers of Purulia
Economic constraints and social stress arising from the impacts of climate vulnerability worsens with the scarcity of food, forcing farmers from the region to migrate and become environmental refugees.
Their social security, food and economic sustainability are the key issues that this project seeks to address. The target areas are rendered uncultivable and in the absence of disaster adaptive farming techniques it turns propping up poverty. This region has been prone to droughts for centuries and SARP technology is a way of adapting to this situation which has not been adequately explored and researched upon for a structured practice. SARP technology for rice harvest can pave the path for a new horizon in the field of agriculture. The ongoing project innovation aims to transfer SARP technology through Farmers Clubs, to 15000 more farmers in Purulia district.
South Asian Forum for Environment has been successfully implementing various pro poor agricultural technological interventions through organized farmers clubs. One important goal for SAFE is the development of strong farmer organizations, but these needs to be sustained and should not simply be a response to short-term project objectives. It may be argued that too much emphasis has often been given to the mere formation of local organizations and not enough to linking those to external agencies and other services.
SAFE has developed technical experience and successfully undertaken several farmers’ community development projects taking on technical responsibilities and has successfully carried out series of SRI training and SARP demonstrations with the farmers in Purulia.
Center for Community Resilience Adaptation & Climate Knowledge [CRACK]
Installed by SAFE in year 2013
Location: Sunderbans (West Bengal) India
Target group: Rural community of Sunderbans
Innovation: CRACK (Center for Community Resilience Adaptation and Climate Knowledge) is integral to the community climate-change adaptability programme of SAFE. Under this umbrella SAFE has already launched the PENTA-C (Cross Country Consortium for Climate Change) in Bhutan, Bangladesh, India and Nepal. Recently SAFE has conceived a more pro-community climate adaptation plan in deltaic Sunderbans. The CRACK Center would be the first of its kind in the nation to combat climate change in the disaster den of climate vulnerable Sunderbans.
Some of the unique features integrated to the CRACK center:
CRACK the Climate Threat… When Climate Changes, but we do not…
CRACK (Center for Community Resilience Adaptation and Climate Knowledge) is integral to the community climate-change adaptability programme of SAFE. Under this umbrella SAFE has already launched the PENTA-C (Cross Country Consortium for Climate Change) in Bhutan Bangladesh India and Nepal. Recently SAFE has conceived a more pro-community climate adaptation plan in deltaic Sunderbans. The CRACK Center would be the first of its kind in the nation to combat climate change in the disaster den of climate vulnerable Sunderbans.
The main theme behind developing CRACK is to augment community resilience and disaster preparedness being within climate vulnerable coastal areas of Sunderbans.
Farmer Technology Transfer: Zero tillage and Micro irrigation
Zero tillage farming and micro irrigation technology transfer program is supported by NABARD and has been an integral part of the collective farming as practiced by farmers of drought prone Purulia in West Bengal. The program objective is adoption of wise-use of water resources utilizing micro-irrigation techniques, water harvesting and local storage. The effectiveness of the technology can help reduce the usage of chemical fertilizers and the interactive training session carries out awareness on the harmful effects of chemical fertilizers and over gazing, that leads to loss of organic matter, disruption of soil microbes, death of earth worms, soil erosion, washing away of top soil etc. Zero till, has minimal soil disturbance and top composting plant residues adds nutrients to soil. Subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) uses permanently or temporarily buried dripper line or drip. It is becoming popular for row crop irrigation, especially in areas where water supplies are limited or recycled water is used for irrigation. It was observed that there were active and enthusiastic participation from the farmers as they understood the technology usefulness.
‘Zero-Till’ and micro-irrigation cum- organic fertilizer dozing through a training and demonstration model for farmers of Purulia, who are practicing agro-farming in a drought prone area, this training has enhanced and nourished the sustainable agricultural practices and has direct implications over livelihood, health and natural resource conservation support systems of the poor communities and develop resilience to climate change. Currently, SAFE could successfully form 52 Farmers Club, leading to the formation of Rarbhum Farmers Federation, which has emerged as a self sustained group to lead the sustainable agriculture practices in Purulia. SAFE, remains a catalytic organization to extend technology knowledge and key skill support to the farmers