Varanasi, 11 November 2022: The International Rice Research Institute South Asia Regional Centre (ISARC) and the Odisha Government organized a program for the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Empowerment (DA&FE) officials towards developing and promoting climate resilience in the state’s agriculture sector.
Fifteen DA&FE officials attended the learning and exposure visit, organized under the flagship project Odisha Integrated Irrigation Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture (OIIPCRA), on 9-11 November 2022 at ISARC in Varanasi. OIIPCRA aims to intensify and diversify agricultural production and enhance climate resilience in selected districts of Odisha.
This program featured the laboratory facilities at ISARC that play a pivotal role in pushing research-driven impact. ISARC scientists also discussed seed systems, regenerative agriculture, and direct-seeded rice as a sustainable alternative crop establishment method.
Additionally, the DA&FE officials attended field demonstrations of modern machinery which expedite farm operations including the rice straw baler, multi-crop seed planter, laser land leveler, drone spray application, and the solar bubble dryer.
The DA&FE officials are expected to share with their colleagues the knowledge and insights they gained from the program as a base for brainstorming for translating the learning to on-the-ground actions.
Dr. Mukund Variar, IRRI Odisha State coordinator, stressed the need for such visits and assured the participants that their feedback will serve as stepping stones to better design and implement climate-resilient interventions.
In 2021, DA&FE, IRRI, and the Department of Water Resources signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding for the implementation of Climate Smart Rice-based Systems for Prosperity and Resilience in Odisha (ClimatePRO) under OIIPCRA. ClimatePRO aims to intensify and diversify agricultural production in Ganjam, Mayurbhanj, and Bolangir to support smallholder farmers in building their resilience and capacity to adapt to climate-change stresses affecting agricultural production thereby increasing their income levels in a sustainable manner and contribute to the promotion of sustainably intensified farming systems.
ClimatePRO also aims to enhance the engagement of women in the rice value chain for safe, dignified, and viable employment as well as entrepreneurial activities with substantive benefits.