Maharashtra Government signs MoU with WOTR for Agricultural Resilience

Climate Resilient Agriculture, News & Events

February, 2024

Maharashtra Government signs MoU with WOTR for Agricultural Resilience

Maharashtra Government signs MoU with WOTR

The Department of Agriculture, Government of Maharashtra, and the Watershed Organisation Trust (WOTR), Pune, have come together in a pioneering non-financial agreement to spearhead the “Building Resilience in Agriculture and Allied Sectors in Rural Maharashtra” project that is aided by the India Climate Collaborative (ICC).

This landmark MoU, signed in December 2023 is aimed at addressing the pressing challenges of climate variability and enhancing the livelihoods of rural communities through sustainable, resilient agricultural practices. The partnership leverages WOTR’s extensive experience and expertise in climate resilience and the Department of Agriculture’s pivotal role in agricultural development, setting a blueprint for nature-friendly, climate resilient farming practices that have the potential to transform the agricultural landscape of Maharashtra.

The MoU, signed in December 2023 is aimed at building the agricultural resilience of communities across Maharashtra

The MoU outlines a comprehensive framework for action, focusing on four critical components: enhancing agricultural resilience through eco-friendly practices; dissemination of customiseed weather-based agri-advisories using the FarmPrecise app; integrating Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) across policies and programs of the Government;  and bolstering water security. These initiatives are poised to revolutionise farming methods, promote sustainable ecosystem management, and secure the livelihoods of millions dependent on agriculture for survival.

At the core of the MoU is the commitment to pilot and scale up innovative and sustainable agricultural practices in villages of select districts, namely Ahmednagar and Dharashiv, with the potential for broader application across the state. This phased approach ensures that the strategies developed are grounded in reality, offering scalable and sustainable solutions to the challenges faced by rural communities.

As a part of the MoU, WOTR will develop a comprehensive framework to evaluate climate risks and the nature footprint of agriculture with a view to classifying the risk profile of villages and developing adaptation plans. Initially, assessments will be conducted in villages that are included in the Dr. Panjabrao Deshmukh Naisargik Sheti Abhiyan of the state government. A roadmap will also be formulated to extend these methods across the state.

Maharashtra Government signs MoU with WOTR for agricultural resilience

The MoU also emphasises the role of technology in achieving its objectives, particularly through further development and deployment of digital advisories through the FarmPrecise app. This digital tool is designed to provide farmers with dynamic, farm customised weather-based advisories thus mitigating risks, enhancing decision-making capabilities and promoting climate-resilient agricultural practices. Under the MoU, such crop and livestock-specific advisories will be provided to at least 250,000 farmers through the Farm Precise App with facilitation support of the DoA.

Financially backed by the Indian Climate Collaborative (ICC), this initiative underscores the importance of cross-sectoral collaboration in tackling climate and environmental challenges. It represents a significant step forward in the journey towards sustainable development, demonstrating the power of partnerships in achieving common goals.

As this MoU unfolds, it promises to catalyse change across Maharashtra’s rural landscape, setting a precedent for other states to follow. It’s a beacon of hope for sustainable agricultural practices, proving that with collective effort and innovative thinking, resilience in the face of climate change is not just possible but achievable.

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