Maharashtra, 8th January, 2021: Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV), Akola and the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) earlier this week to promote water stewardship and climate resilience in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra by advancing research, building capacities of farmers, Civil Society Organizations and Community Based Organizations. The approaches, learnings and findings resulting from this partnership, will be further disseminated for adoption and scale.
Through this partnership, PDKV and ISC will work towards demonstrating the effectiveness of technologies developed by PDKV, with cotton farmers in Vidarbha. This will be done by undertaking research in areas of socio-economic impacts of climate change on cotton framers, and enhancing outreach and extension efforts in partnership with different stakeholders. The MoU was signed by Dr. V.M Bhale, Vice Chancellor, PDKV and Mr. Vivek P Adhia, Country Director-India, ISC in the presence of Dr. D.M. Mankar, Director Extension Education, PDKV; Mr. Romit Sen, Associate Director-Water & Agriculture, ISC and representatives from PDKV and ISC.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. V.M. Bhale, Honourable Vice Chancellor, PDKV called for the adoption of technologies and practices by farmers, to overcome the risks faced by them. “Partnerships are key to demonstrate the effectiveness of technologies with farmers and bring them to scale. This needs to be supported by effective extension and outreach efforts.” He called for the strengthening of farm-to-market linkages, in order to ensure better economic returns for farmers.
Emphasizing ISC’s commitment to advancing water stewardship and climate resilience, Mr. Vivek P Adhia, Country Director-India, ISC said, “ISC is working with 1,35,000 farmers to test the effectiveness of a package of practices that makes cotton farming more sustainable - by reducing the environmental footprint of cotton cultivation, and enhancing yields and incomes of farmers. ISC looks forward to engaging with PDKV to further demonstrate the impacts of better management practices, by working with farming communities and other partners.”
Dr. D.M. Mankar, Director Extension Education, PDKV spoke of the need to make information available to farmers in a timely manner. “Extension efforts of the University are being supplemented through partnerships with various institutions, to bring together diverse experiences - for the benefit of the farming communities,” added Dr. Mankar.
Outlining the proposed activities, Mr. Romit Sen, Associate Director-Water and Agriculture Program, ISC, said that PDKV and ISC will work on a roadmap to fulfil the objectives of the MoU, which has been signed for a duration of three years. “We plan to undertake activities in areas of research and demonstration, training and awareness through the networks of ISC and PDKV,” he said.
Maharashtra is the largest cotton growing state in India, with 43.51 lakh hectares area under cotton cultivation. Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region is a major cotton growing belt, covering more than 50% of the cultivated area for cotton in Maharashtra. However, the region faces uncertainties in climate - with spatial and temporal variations in rainfall and temperature impacting cotton cultivation, thereby making farmers vulnerable.
About Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth
Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Krishi Vidyapeeth (PDKV), Akola was established on 20th October, 1969, with its head-quarters in Akola. The jurisdiction of this University is spread over the eleven districts of Vidarbha. According to the University Act 1983 (of the Government of Maharashtra), the University is entrusted with the responsibility of agricultural education, research and extension education along with a breeder and foundation seed programme. The Directorate of Extension Education is entrusted with the responsibility to plan, implement, co-ordinate and monitor the Agricultural Extension Education Programme of the University in 11 districts of Vidarbha region of the state. In addition, it is also engaged in assisting and complementing the efforts of the State Government’s Department of Agriculture, public sector entities and voluntary organizations for effective management of extension education systems.
About Institute for Sustainable Communities
Since 1991, the Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) has led more than 115 transformative community-driven sustainability projects in 30 countries including the United States, China, India, and Bangladesh. ISC helps unleash the existing power of local people and institutions to address immediate social, economic, and environmental challenges and opportunities – all while building those on-the-ground solutions into national and international best practices and policy. At the heart of the organization’s approach is results-focused, authentic, and pragmatic engagement with all stakeholders, which unearths locally-driven and equitable solutions to the biggest challenge we face – global climate change.
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