A high-level team from Norway, which inspected best farming practices under the ClimaRice project being implemented in the Cauvery basin, will soon apprise the Union Agriculture Ministry of the success of the programme, said Lars Peder Brekk, Norwegian Minister of Agriculture and Food.

The project, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway, is being implemented in Tiruchi, Karur, Nagapattinam and Thanjavur districts. It aims to assess climate variability and its impact on water availability and rice production systems in the Cauvery river basin. The overall goal is to contribute to the regional and national adaptation strategies to sustain rice production and ensure food security amidst changing climate.

The integrated project involves coordinated efforts by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, technical experts of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra, State Agriculture Department and stakeholders.

The project integrates natural, socio-economic and institutional factors that will help in improving the adaptive capacity of farmers and enable policy makers to frame suitable climate change policies.

Addressing villagers after inspecting ClimaRice fields in L. Abhishekapuram village near Lalgudi on Tuesday, Mr. Lars Peder Brekk said climate change posed a challenge to agriculture. But, efficient strategies for food production would bring about a lasting solution.

N. Ponnusamy, Joint Director of Agriculture, said farmer Narayanan, whose fields the team inspected, harvested five tonnes of Co-RH3 paddy, a hybrid variety this season.

Women members of Self-Help Groups were playing a crucial role in dissemination of agriculture techniques to the farming fields.

A. Lakshmanan, Associate Professor of Microbiology, Agro Climate Research Centre (ACRC), Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, said Rs.2 crore had been sanctioned for the first phase of the ClimaRice project.

Demonstration villages had been identified in 24 blocks in the four districts.

V. Geethalakshmi, Professor and Head, ACRC, said farmers were adopting good agricultural practices, including control of methane emission, reduction of chemical fertiliser and improvement in soil organic carbon.

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