Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 5:
The first state level steering committee meeting for Climate Change Knowledge Network in Indian Agriculture (CCKN-IA) project was held today at Odisha Farm Machinery Research & Development Centre, Satyanagar, Bhubaneswar.
CCIN-IA – a bilateral cooperation project funded by GIZ (German International Cooperation) through the Ministry of Agriculture, Govt of India (GoI) and the state agriculture department- is the nodal agency for the implementation of this project.
State Steering Committee (SSC) , a statutory committee constituted by the state government in January 2014 is entrusted with the task to review and monitor the progress, guide implementation and approve important decision making process pertaining to smooth execution of the project.
This pilot project got off to a start after implementation agreement was signed by the GIZ and Ministry of Agriculture, GoI in New Delhi on September 4, 2013 as part of the Indo-German bilateral cooperation agreement between the governments of two countries.
Odisha was chosen as one of the three pilot states for implementation of this innovative project. The project aims at creating a technical platform as well as institutional mechanism to source, value add and then disseminate timely, relevant context specific information on climate/ weather, agriculture and allied issues, market, insurance, advisory, etc. to various stakeholders in an effective manner. The 4-year project has started with formation of SSC, establishment of CCKN-IA cell in IMAGE premises, identification of two pilot districts viz, Dhenkanal and Ganjam (2 blocks each) for first phase of implementation where the technical framework and consortium model will be tested.
Addressing the participants, the principal secretary, Agriculture Rajesh Varma stated that Climate Change and weather variability in particular has been acknowledged as a hard reality now. The ongoing incessant rains lashing the whole state in the last few days have been the outcome of repeated low pressure and depressions formed over the Bay of Bengal system. This is a glaring example of weather aberration the society has to face. This has happened when all predictions were made in favour of a low monsoon rain this year and the state was gearing up for preparing to tackle drought. Hence all steps must be taken to create utmost awareness on climate change mitigation, adaptation and preparedness aspects among all sections of society, mostly for the underprivileged and farming community as they bear the maximum shock.
In his address, the director, Agriculture & Food Production Gopalan emphasised on the need for documenting local practices and preserving varieties that have better potential to perform under climatic stresses. Kharif crop contingency measures as promoted by the Directorate through various communication media would help farmers prepare themselves to take alternate remedial actions in the drought or flood situations, he said.
Florian Moder, Technical Adviser and Dr Rajeev Sharma, Programme Manager, GIZ, New Delhi, while presenting the project overview, background and technical framework of the knowledge management network also highlighted the importance of pertinent, timely and authentic information and knowledge dissemination on Climate and Agro-advisory related aspects to various stakeholders, starting from the farmers/ villagers to extension workers, NGO personnel, KVK professionals, state and national level policy formulators.
Anup Kumar Das, technical Expert, CCKN-IA presented the key achievements of the project since the signing of the MoU at New Delhi. He presented the highlights of Baseline study and SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity & Threat) analysis report conducted for the state.
Dr. S.C. Sahu, Director, IMD centre, Bhubaneswar presented a summary on the activities carried out by the centre and stressed on the need for utilizing the short range and medium range weather forecast and early warning services for better preparedness and resilience at all levels. He informed that as a result of some high resolution observations and data, IMD has been able to forecast quite accurately these and a lot of weather parameters/ data are now available on the website for free or on payment basis.
Similarly Dr S N Pasupalak, of the OUAT Agrometeorlogy department spoke on the Gramin Krishi Mausam Sewa under which OUAT under its 10 AMFUs (10 agro-climatic zones) is preparing and disseminating Agromet advisories for farmers. SMS service has also been enabled and 160 character SMS is being sent to thousands of farmers on weekly basis.
R C Pattanaik of the IKSL informed the house about voice messaging service and Kisan Call Centre facility which is being promoted for the farming community.
Some important decisions were made in terms of finalization of consortium partners for the state level network, capacity building” measures for” the stakeholders, greater synergy and convergence of” component-4 of NMSA scheme and CCKN-IA, formation of district steering committee, etc.
The meeting convened by the Director, Agriculture & Food Production R. S. Gopalan, was chaired by Rajesh Verma, Principal Secretary, Agriculture. Among others, senior officials from various line departments, Agricultural research institutes, Agriculture knowledge information providers and NGOs have also participated in the meeting.
The opening remark and welcome address was delivered by Anupam Bose, Joint Director (SP &C) and Nodal Officer, CCKN-IA and the meeting concluded with vote of thanks extended by Er Asutosh Behera, Asst. Director, IMAGE.