Madhya Pradesh has embarked on an ambitious plan to develop 1,100 'climate-smart' villages with an aim to prepare farmers to manage the climate change risks timely and ensure good productivity.
"The government has been planning to develop 1,100 villages as climate-smart villages in a period of next six years," state Farmer Welfare & Agriculture Development Department Principal Secretary Dr Rajesh Rajora told PTI.
He said 100 villages in each of the 11 agro-climatic zones of the state would be taken up under the plan, which would incur a cost about Rs 150 crore every year.
"The work is being taken up under the National Agriculture Development Programme (NADP) and Indian National Mission on Sustainable Agriculture," he said. In these villages, the farmers would be encouraged to go for short duration variety of crops, in addition to using drought-resistance seeds.
"The focus would be on integrated agriculture, whichcomprises animal husbandry, fisheries, in addition to traditional farming. Agro-forestry would also be adopted inthese villages," Rajora said.
Agro-forestry conserves and protects the naturalresources as it helps water retention and stops soil erosion. He said integrated nutrients management would also be implemented to help in soil fertility and plant nutrients supply through optimisation of all possible sources oforganic, inorganic and biological components.
"In addition, the integrated pest management, zerotillage, raised bed gardening techniques and micro-irrigation would also be introduced in the climate smart villages. This would help farmers to increase the productivity amid all challenges of climate change," he said.
Zero till age technique is a way of growing crops time and again without disturbing the soil through ploughing, another agriculture expert said.
"The micro-irrigation systems like drip and sprinklerswould not only reduce the water use but also lessen the use offertilisers and energy," he said.