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NIRDPR launches initiative to help rural poor farm holds adapt climate change

Hyderabad: The National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (NIRDPR), for the first time in India, has launched an initiative to improve the adaptive capacity of the rural poor engaged in farm-based livelihoods to cope with climate change.

It seeks to establish a large-scale proof of concept on integrating community-based climate change planning and adaptation by working with climate-smart Community Resource Persons (CRPs) and National Resource Persons (NRPs).

The training manual for this ‘Sustainable Livelihoods and Adaptation to Climate Change (SLACC)’ Certificate Course was released by NIRDPR Director Dr. W.R. Reddy during the first Training Program for Community Resource Persons (CRPs) under this Certificate Course held at NIRDPR Campus in Hyderabad.

The aim of the course is to train a cadre of Climate Smart Community Resource Persons who are expected to disseminate the practice of sustainable livelihoods through adaptation to climate change.

The program will strengthen the skill sets of resource persons at national and grass-roots level. It is being implemented in 638 villages in Mandla and Sheopur districts of Madhya Pradesh, and Gaya and Madhubani districts of Bihar under National Rural Livelihoods Mission.

All of these districts are either drought-prone or flood-prone. The project will be scaled up nationwide subsequently.

The SLACC will create a cadre of over 200 certified ‘climate-smart’ Community Resource Persons and over 100 Young Professionals in villages, who will combat the impact of climate change and secure their livelihood through climate proof planning and adaptations.

The cadre will further disseminate the climate resilient technologies to the farming communities in their respective allocated villages, as assigned by the State Rural Livelihood Mission (SRLM) staff.

Speaking about the importance of this Certificate Course, Dr. W.R. Reddy said, “Climate change is a new and significant challenge to the disadvantaged population as it could affect the yield and income of small and marginal farmers, especially in rainfed farms.

The Ministry of Rural Development is striving to protect them from the climate vagaries and secure their well-being. This World Bank-supported SLACC has developed the training modules to build the capacities of hundreds of CRPs as master trainers in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Bihar – both having high climate risk.

The NIRDPR has done commendable work in developing the training modules and commencing the training programs.”

Further Dr. Reddy added, “Altogether 23 technology interventions are prioritized for farm level activities for climate resilience. They aim to reduce the cost of cultivation, improve yield and income, profitability, empower women and generate employment.

Various experts and agencies such as SRLM, KVK, Central Institute of Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA), Hyderabad have contributed significantly to the training efforts. We hope that thousands of under-privileged farmers in the two states would benefit from the SLACC interventions and the training can be replicated in other states in future to reach the last mile.”

The course highlights climate change, variability, interventions that can help in improving the crop productivity, information on the weather advisory services and alternate livelihood activities for climate resilience. On completion of the programme the participants will be able to train/advocate the other farmers/community in the villages on the climate resilient interventions using tool kits;

Use the Climate Change Adaptation Program (CCAP) tool every year before the cropping season in the villages; Practice the adaptation strategies applicable to the areas/season on a demonstration mode and operational knowledge and understanding of a broad set of tools relevant for CCA interventions.

This course is being offered by the Centre for Natural Resource Management (CNRM) of NIRDPR, which is also the Lead Technical Support Agency for the SLACC project initiated by Ministry of Rural Development (MoRD) and World Bank with National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) as an umbrella organization to improve adaptive capacity of the rural poor engaged in farm-based livelihoods to cope with climate variability.

Dr. W.R. Reddy and Dr. Ravindra S. Gavali, Course Co-ordinator and Head, Centre for Climate Change and Disaster Mitigation, NIRDPR, along with their team worked on this SLACC certificate course with partners including Usha Rani, Director, MANAGE, G. Jayalaxmi, IAS, Director, National Institute of Plant Health Management (NIPHM), B.K. Mishra, General Manager, National Bank For Agriculture And Rural Development (NABARD), and Dr. Ravindra Chary, Director, Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA).

Highlighting the importance of this program, Dr. Ravindra S. Gavali said, “This Certificate course offers a unique and timely opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills on climate resilient interventions to the community resource persons and other workers of various Centrally-sponsored Schemes.

The course is divided into four modules. The modules will help the participants to understand the climate change interventions and the easy methods of training for the community.”

Conducted over a period of two weeks, the course is divided into four modules. The modules will help the participants to understand the climate change interventions and the easy methods of training for the community.

Totally, 200 CRPs would be trained in 5 batches through a certificate course. Each batch consists of 40 CRPs. The CRPs can be identified by SRLM/NRLM with Class X Graduates. The CRPs may include progressive farmers, awarded farmers, technology dissemination experts at the block or village level etc.

The CRPs can be from SLACC and non-SLACC project districts/states. The selected participants will visit the SLACC areas for an exposure visit before they visit the campus for the training program.

The SLACC project is funded by the Special Climate Change Fund, which was set up under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to finance global projects relating to adaptation, technology transfer and capacity building, among other areas.

The SLACC project is being implemented in convergence with the Mahila Kisan Sashaktikaran Pariyojana, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) and other Centrally-sponsored schemes. (INN)

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