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Indian agriculture faces a number of challenges. Chief among them is chronic low productivity, dependence on rain, extreme weather events and other adverse impacts of climate change. The majority of Indian farmers own small plots and practice rain-fed agriculture, depending almost entirely on the yearly monsoon for irrigation. A bad monsoon - too little, too much or untimely rain - means that they are unable to sow or harvest successfully. Poor soils, high cultivation costs and inefficient farming methods worsen the situation, leading to low productivity and uncertain incomes. IT is clear that unleashing the potential of the agri-rural economy through large-scale sustainable and inclusive solutions will be essential to ensure growth and building climate resilience for the nation.
ITC's Climate Smart Villages Programme, active in 1600 villages in 14 states, is designed to assist them to cope with these challenges, with a Climate Smart Villages approach in core Agri Business catchments.
Under the programme, demonstration plots and farmer field schools in villages give farmers information and practical training on climate smart farming practices and technologies, e.g. water saving irrigation devices, organic pesticides and fertilisers, mechanisation appropriate for small plots, etc. The result is that agri communities learn to conserve and manage soil and water resources, improve crop yields and reduce cultivation costs - leading to higher incomes and fewer incidences of crop failure, making farming less risky and a more sustainable livelihood now and in the future.
ITC's Climate Smart Agriculture has covered over 2.54 lakh farmers, over 8.8 lakh acres and 21 major crops in 8,000 villages across 17 States in 2020-21. The programme is set to cover over 3 million acres by 2030.
To know more about how ITC's sustainable agriculture interventions are addressing the challenge of climate change and enhancing agri-resilience, download the Sustainability Report 2021 here: http://bit.ly/3tzVRGm