Communication and capacity building to advance adaptation strategies in agriculture in the context of climate change in India
Climate change is perhaps the most serious issue that affects food security of a very large number of human beings and animals. Impacts of climate change will be particularly significant in South Asia where most of food production comes from smallholder farms. Vulnerability in this region is two-fold: production of important food crop varieties may be affected by developments such as rise in temperature; smallholder farmers have low economic resilience when large variations in crop outputs occur. Both adaptive and anticipatory measures based on research in agricultural sciences are being proposed. What is important is also to build the capacity of smallholder farmers to cope with the impact of climate change-induced phenomena. Key guides to large scale action such as the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change propose integrated action for capacity building involving both top-down and bottom-up inputs. In this paper, we provide an overview of accepted impacts of climate change on agriculture and food security in South Asia, and the proposed and ongoing agronomic adaptation strategies in India. Our focus is on capacity building at a micro-level which can augment adaptation efforts. We offer two case studies that provide pointers for integrating novel communication and capacity building processes for smallholder farmers that can considerably improve their ability to engage in action for adaptation.
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