A number of new initiatives in India are testing ways to help farmers cope with changing weather as concerns about climate change bring fresh urgency – and funding – to longstanding challenges in sustainable agriculture, reports Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar at the Christian Science Monitor. The biggest of these efforts is the National Initiative for Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA), a $63-million government pilot program covering 130 villages. Like the other projects, it promotes water and soil conservation and tries to improve access to better seeds and infrastructure as well as modern weather and crop data. “The aim is to offer a model for reducing the vulnerability of farmers” in drought or flood prone areas, says Sreenath Dixit, a principle scientist and coordinator for the NICRA program. Projected increases in temperature and variable rainfall are expected to most affect farmers in developing countries like India, where the majority of people are still employed in agriculture and most farms depend on monsoon rains for irrigation. But every crop has its temperature limit, beyond which it will not grow. Under climate change, we are approaching those limits.
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India tests ways to help farmers cope with climate change. Concerns about how climate change may be affecting India are bringing fresh urgency and funding to longstanding challenges in sustainable agriculture. Christian Science Monitor http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2012/1207/India-tests-ways-to-help-farmers-cope-with-climate-change