Environment, Protection Training and Research Institute (EPTRI) in association with International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has begun a four-year pilot study on climate change in agriculture across 15 villages in Mahabubnagar district.
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has sanctioned Rs. 25 crore for the project from the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change. “We will be hand-holding the farmers throughout their agriculture operations from providing various inputs to ensuring proper market for their produce. We are currently preparing a database of 3,000-odd farmers,” said Director General EPTRI Kalyan Chakravarthy.
The institute has proposed the project and sent it to the Union Ministry for funding under the climate change programme and Mahabubnagar district was chosen as it has been traditionally dry and known to receive scanty rainfall. The villages identified are located within the mandals of Jedcherla, Bijinepalli and Ghanpur.
Last year, EPTRI had signed a pact with ICRISAT to jointly conduct research and capacity development in the field of climate change adaptation and mitigation in agriculture.
Both institutes are now gathering the information about the current agriculture practices, soil types, land holdings, kind of crops being grown, farm outputs, agriculture practices, and other details associated with farming.
Professor Jayashankar Telangana State Agriculture University too has been roped in for the programme and their expertise will be utilised. “We will study about value additions to be made for improving the farmers’ income levels through animal husbandry and other initiatives,” said Mr. Chakravarthy.
EPTRI has also proposed another interesting Rs. 1,600 crore project of revitalising lakes in Hyderabad and their likely impact on the climate change under the fund where water is treated with establishment of Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), strengthening bunds, demarcating boundaries, full tank levels and dredging on the lines of Mission Kakatiya as was being done in other parts of Telangana.