Environmental Defense Fund Launches Climate Smart Agriculture Capacity Building in Collaboration with Syngenta India Foundation


Women working in the field

In line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi who recently called for an alliance of scientists and farmers to tackle climate change and ensure a green future, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in collaboration with Syngenta Foundation India (SFI) has launched a unique project program on Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) which was hosted by ICAR-National Institute of Abiotic Stress Management (NIASM), Baramati Maharashtra-India. A week-long training was recently conducted by EDF to educate and build the capacity of SFI’s management team.

SFI, through its network of over 8,000 agribusinesses across 18 states, reaches over 7 lakh smallholder farmers, assisting them with end-to-end value chain services and providing financial linkages . The goal is to train 100,000 AEs who will connect with 1 crore farmers over the next six years.

Himanshu Pathak, Director of NIASM, said: “We are delighted that EDF’s climate-smart agriculture team is bringing its world-renowned expertise to our Indian associates.

“This partnership aims to increase awareness of climate resilience and adoption of CSA to improve crop yields and farmer incomes while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Hisham Mundol, Chief Advisor-India for EDF. He added, “Climate-smart agriculture that secures farmers’ incomes and reduces environmental stress is one of India’s top strategic priorities. Trained agronomists can now use the principles covered in this training to begin designing solutions for different geographies and crops. »

This CSA training program included modules on the science of the climate crisis, the impact of climate change on Indian agriculture and economy, nitrogen and water management to improve yields and incomes , minimize GHG emissions and maintain soil health. We also discussed carbon markets and the credibility, ethics and effectiveness of carbon credits. The content of this training will be incorporated into the curriculum of SFI’s growing national agribusiness network.

Dr. Gajanan Rajurkar, Project Manager – Agri-Entrepreneur Growth Foundation, who attended the full week of training, said: “EDF stepped in to ensure that SFI’s existing AE training and education program was informed by the principles and practices of climate-smart agriculture. EDF’s excellent training is beginning to build the necessary capacity within Syngenta Foundation India to become leaders and pioneers of CSA in India.

SFI is a non-profit organization that promotes innovative, sustainable and scalable ways to improve farmer livelihoods. SFI incubates and nurtures agricultural entrepreneurs (AEs) at the village level who provide end-to-end value chain services, including providing financial linkages to smallholder farmers. Each AE receives 45 days of online training.

They receive far beyond mentorship for a period of 2 years to become rural entrepreneurs who each sustainably provide a bouquet of agriculture and related services to at least 100 farmers. Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is an international non-profit organization working to protect the environment and advance economic progress by combining science and economics with local partnerships.

First published: May 24, 2022, 09:44 IST


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