Agriculture scientist M.S. Swaminathan called on Wednesday for documenting indigenous farming knowledge which coped with monsoon vagaries.

In earlier days when there was no irrigation, farmers were prepared for floods and droughts.

The climate-resilient farming was a way of life in those days, and people went in for mixed cropping.

Dr. Swaminathan said a publication could be brought out on procedures adopted by farmers and how effective they were in coping with climate swings, he said.

Addressing a symposium on climate change at the 98th Indian Science Congress at Kattankulathur near here, he pointed out that 127 agro-climatic zones had been identified in the country based on the cropping and weather factors.

Dr. Swaminathan, who is also chairperson of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, urged that climate risk management research and training centres be set up in each zone. Through the centres, alternative cropping strategies and methods of checking potential adverse conditions should be developed.

Highlighting the need for training people to tackle the climate change impact, he said that through an initiative of the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences, a training programme for local body representatives had been undertaken. So far, three workshops, covering 70 representatives of panchayats in Tamil Nadu, were held.

He wanted the area along the Indira Gandhi Canal in Rajasthan declared a special economic zone and suggested that those involved in water bodies' protection through the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme be given the water security saviour award.