Maharashtra Project for Climate Resilient Agriculture:

April 6, 2018

 

Context:

  1. The Government of India, Government of Maharashtra and the World Bank signed a US$ 420 million project to help Small and Marginal farmers in the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions of Maharashtra. 

 Focus Areas:

  1. It will be implemented in rural areas largely dependent on rainfed agriculture.

Background:

  1. In recent years, climate variability has affected agriculture in Maharashtra, where farming is largely dominated by small and marginal farmers. Farmers have low crop productivity and a high dependence on rainfall. Severe drought in the past has affected the state’s agriculture performance.

 

Features: The project will take up a series of activities at the farm and watershed level.

  1. Farm level:

    • It will scale up climate-resilient technologies such as 

      • Micro irrigation systems, 

      • Expand surface water storage, and 

      • Facilitate aquifer recharge, which is expected to directly contribute to a more efficient use of scarce water resources. 

    • It will encourage adoption of climate-resilient seed varieties which have benefits such as

      • Short maturity, 

      • Drought and heat resistant, 

      • Salt tolerance.

  2. Watershed level:

    • Project activities include 

      • Building drainage lines and 

      • Preparing catchment area treatment plans.

    • This will promote a more efficient use of surface water for agriculture, complemented with a more sustainable use of groundwater, which will ultimately improve the availability and quality of water at the farm level.

  3. Logistic & Support level:

    • To strengthen emerging value chains for climate-resilient agricultural commodities, the project will improve the capacity of Farmer Producers Organizations to operate as sustainable, market-oriented, agri-enterprises

 Benefits:

  1. Carbon Sequestration:

    1. This project will help mitigate that through carbon sequestration which involves planting trees in upper catchment areas and afforestation; growing fruit trees on small orchards; and incorporating crop residues (biomass) into the soil.

  2. Increasing Farmer Income by making crops more resilient to climate change.

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