A $3 million project was inaugurated in Dhaka Wednesday for scaling up climate smart agriculture in South Asia.
Aiming at research-based farming strategies, the project will continue until 2024. It is funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (Ifad), Saarc Agriculture Centre (SAC), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Saarc Development Fund (SDF).
At the inauguration, Esala Ruwan Weerakoon, secretary-general of Saarc, said, "This multi-country project is the first of its kind in the region, which has been launched at a time when climate change has emerged as a major threat to the agricultural landscape. Given what is at stake, the Saarc Agriculture Centre has taken this far-reaching initiative to promote sustainable and resilient agriculture intensification in South Asia."
Agricultural development activities will be conducted in Saarc countries through a combination of modern techniques and technologies for climate change through this project. Farmers, researchers, extension workers, policymakers of the countries will work together to improve the skills of marginal farmers.
The project will directly benefit 7,500 small farmers, extension workers, researchers and policymakers.
Shahidur Rashid, director of IFPRI-South Asia, said, "This agreement provides us a platform for collaborative efforts to generate evidence-based policy solutions that can accelerate climate-resilient and sustainable food supply in South Asia,"
"The agreement will strengthen Ifad's partnership with Saarc to work together on improving food security and to benefit smallholder agriculture in the region," said Abdelkarim Sma, lead regional economist of Ifad.