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This story highlights the Climate-Smart Village activities in South Asia

It is not unusual for farmers to give up on agriculture when repeatedly having to deal with erratic and extreme weather events. For Horil Singh, a farmer from Rajapakar in India, changes in the summer temperatures and delayed rainfall severely affected his crop planning.

Climate-Smart Villages are taking shape in Bihar, India, helping farmers adapt and build resilience to climate change. In the photo: Babul Rai of Mukundpur village, participant in the project. Photo : V.Reddy (ViDocs).

Climate-Smart Villages are taking shape in Bihar, India, helping farmers adapt and build resilience to climate change. In the photo: Babul Rai of Mukundpur village, participant in the project. Photo : V.Reddy (ViDocs).

“We have seen the weather change to a great extent” he said in a sit-down interview, “now low or delayed rainfall have become the norm.”

The question is, how can a farmer plan for the unexpected? And where does he turn when the rains have failed him yet again?

At the moment, our South Asia Regional Program is working hard to implement and scale-up something called the ‘Climate-Smart Village’ model project. The project has reached the furthest in the area of Bihar in India, where a number of videos have been shot, showcasing the activities.

“These villages will serve as benchmark villages,“ said Devender Singh from Rajapakar in the making of the videos. ”In the changing climate, farmers will be shown how to continue farming with new technologies.”

The CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) envisions these Climate-Smart projects to not only be long-term, but also as participatory as possible. Farmers, especially women, are encouraged to weigh in on the activities and take the lead in prioritizing what activities should be implemented in their villages. This is to make sure the climate-smart farming practices learned are kept alive long after the project has been phased out.

Read more on the CCAFS Climate Smart Villages in this original blog post by Cecilia Schubert and Dharini Parthasarathy.

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