Ascertaining m4agriNEI farmers' innovations on climate-smart agriculture : a case study

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College of Post Graduate Studies in Agricultural Sciences, Central Agricultural University , Imphal
Climate change has adversely impacted agriculture in way of variabilities in rainfall, temperature, dry & cold spells, sunshine hours, emergence of new pathogens and diseases to crops & animals. With this sensitiveness and vulgarised problems of the climate change, innovation to its adaption in terms of farmers’ innovations towards Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) practices become inevitable for the subsistence of small and marginal farmers. CSA is an agricultural approach that sustainably increases productivity, adaptation and reduces greenhouse gases. The collaborative research project - m4agriNEI between CPGS and Digital India Corporation (formerly Media Lab Asia) which is an innovative mix of mobile with Toll Free IVRS based farmer specific advisory system in which the system allows transmitting need based Agro-Advisory Services (AAS) through voice, text, images and videos from both end (farmer to expert and back) encompassed the domains of sustainable crop production intensification, control of pest and diseases of crops, soil and water conservation practices, conservation and sustainable use of genetic resources of agricultural crops, livestock production and management, building synergies with local institutions for enhanced crop production etc. which are climate smart in their content. The adaptability of the farmers in their local context, is also an important factors to determine how registered farmers’ acts in coping with the effects of climate change. The relevance of the study creates an originality in knowledge to design societal adaptation practices to adapt and mitigate climate change. Hence, the present study was undertaken with the following objectives :- (1) To identify the Climate-Smart Agricultural (CSA) Innovations of registered farmers of m4agriNEI; (2) To ascertain the factors of m4agriNEI in enhancing the Climate-Smart Agricultural (CSA) Innovations of registered farmers; and (3) To prioritize the constraints faced by registered farmers in innovating Climate-Smart Agricultural (CSA) practices. The study followed a Case study research design. In the research, the four project districts viz., Ri-Bhoi, East Khasi Hills, West Khasi Hills and West Jaintia Hills were selected purposively. With the criteria being a respondent who have made proactive average calls of 5 times a week and above were considered in the sampling frame and a total of 65 registered farmers were selected. Q-sort method was employed to identify climate smart agricultural innovations. Altogether, 5 Innovations have been identified and documented in the study. Multinomial Logistic Regression analysis was used to determine the factors enhancing the Climate-Smart Agricultural Adaptations by registered farmers. The study revealed, with Cox & Snell R2 and Nagelkerke R2 value of .557 and .633 respectively, determined that 55.7% and 63.3% of the variability on the factors of m4agriNEI viz., Timeliness, Relevancy, Economy and Accuracy of AAS in enhancing the CSA innovations of registered farmers. Paired comparison analysis was employed for prioritizing the problems face by the registered farmers. ‘Poor access to market’ was the most prioritized problem as reported by the respondents meanwhile ‘crop insurance’ did not exist well in the study area . The study concludes that Innovation concepts are no longer metaphors in m4agriNEI, there is necessity for continuous guidance from such AAS, so that farmers can augment their capacity to surge the productivity besides innovating their efforts in local as well as national level.