The impact of climate change needs to be factored in development programmes so as to tackle the long-term requirement of mitigation and adaptation. This was highlighted at an international conference on Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture and Public Leadership here on Tuesday.

Underscoring the need for adopting a multidimensional strategy, Minister of State for Agriculture Harish Rawat appealed to agriculture scientists to document the indigenous wisdom of Indian farmers who had been adapting to climatic variability over the centuries.

Climate was central to critical agricultural decisions, ranging from the farm to policy level, he said. The Union government had taken a stance to address climate issues by fully participating in international conventions such as the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change.

On the domestic front, the government was developing policies to mitigate the impact of climate change,” Mr. Rawat said after inaugurating the two-day conference organised jointly by the Indian Council of Agriculture Research and the National Council for Climate Change, Sustainable Development and Public Leadership (NCCSD).

Earlier, International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics Director-General William D. Dar said climate change was affecting every region in the world and to feed the growing population, production should be increased by 75-100 per cent by 2050.

While National Academy of Agricultural Sciences President R.B. Singh called for a “multidisciplinary system approach” to tackle the impact on the farm sector, NCCSD's B.P. Singh and Kirit Shelat underscored the need for strengthening community leadership through suitable training, capacity building and awareness programmes. “Unless people are involved, we cannot succeed,” they said.

Application of resource conservation technologies and effective land use management are some of the strategies suggested by scientists.

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