The National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) project was launched at Vadavathur village, Erumapatti block, Namakkal district recently.

NICRA has been promoted in the XI five year plan by ICAR constituent unit Central Research Institute for Dry Land Agriculture (CRIDA), Hyderabad.

This project is being implemented in 100 districts in India and four districts in Tamil Nadu. At Namakkal district, the Krishi Vigyan Kendra is the project implementing agency for the programme.

NICRA is implemented at Vadavathur village, Erumapatti block, Namakkal district which has recorded an average rainfall of 400 mm for the past 20 years when compared to 750 mm in the district.

Aim

The project aims to enhance the resilience of agriculture through development and application of improved production and risk management technologies.

The following technological interventions were inaugurated at the village.

— Inauguration of manually operated weather station to record daily rainfall, minimum and maximum temperature, relative humidity and wind speed.

—Stocking of fish fry in temporary water ponds. Artificial insemination centre for cows and buffaloes. Improved water harvesting structure at senguttai, a public pond.

— Protray nursery for hybrid vegetable seed multiplication. Custom hiring of farm machineries and implements

—Distribution of drought resilient sorghum Co-30, Groundnut (TMV-13), Green gram (VBN-3), Black gram (Co-6), Red gram (Co-7), Vegetable cow pea seed (Arka suman), Bush type Lab Lab seed (CoGb14), onion seed (Co-6), turmeric seed rhizome (Alleppy supreme).

Fodder slips

—Distribution of fodder slips (Co-4), Multi cut fodder sorghum, Hedgelucerne, Fodder tree plants viz., Agathi, Subabul and Glyricidia.

— Distribution of backyard chicks (Namakkal chicken-1, Aseel cross), large White Yorkshire piglets, Khakki camphell ducks, Nandanam-1 Turkeys. Boer Tellicherry cross rams, NARI Swarna cross Tellicherry rams and eves and carp fingerlings.

During the inaugural speech, Dr. S. Ayyappan, Secretary (DARE) and Director General, ICAR highlighted the importance of water conservation and adoption of new technologies for improving the productivity and profitability of the farmers through the group approach.

Vice-Chancellor Dr.R. Prabakaran, TANUVAS, Chennai and Dr. P. Murugesa Boopathi, Vice-Chancellor, TNAU, Coimbatore also spoke. A total of 1112 farmers and school children participated in the programme.