Indo-French project to study effects of climate change on farming

The Indo-French Centre for the Promotion of Advanced Research (CEFIPRA) on Monday launched a multi-disciplinary Indo-French research project titled ‘Adaptation of Irrigated Agriculture to Climate Change (AICHA).’

The study aims at developing an integrated model for analysing the impact of climate change on ground water-irrigated agriculture in south India.

Berambadi village and surrounding areas in Hangla hobli of Gundlupet taluk in Chamarajanagar district have been selected for a field study under the project.

AICHA includes researchers from the Indo-French Cell on Water Science, Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA).

Sekhar Muddu, IISc Associate Professor (Department of Civil Engineering) involved in the project, said the study would extend up to three years and involve regular interaction with farmers in the region.The Indian and French governments are jointly funding the Rs 2.25-crore project.

Future tense

Muddu said that with ground water being a limited resource, agriculture would be a challenge for farmers in the coming days.

He said the study would try to learn and explore sustainable water management with available ground resources, changes in the cropping pattern if needed, and the economy involved.

Muddu also said that the research is special in the sense that it looks into all three fields pertaining to farming, namely, agronomy, hydrology and economics.

When questioned about how a study limited to a hobli block in Karnataka be generalised for the entire southern India,  Laurent Ruiz from INRA said the aim was only to develop a model to address the climate change issues pertaining to agriculture in future and the model can be adopted with suitable alterations in a given region.

Alban Thomas of INRA said the project would explore adaptation strategies based on innovative cropping systems and water resource management policies, by considering a range of scenarios for agricultural systems and policies, to be tested at the farm and the watershed scale.

He said methodology will combine remote sensing, field surveys and advanced numerical analysis with hydrological, agronomical and economic modelling, and will pay particular attention to sustainability and acceptability issues. 

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