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National Initiative for Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA)

 

Objectives      

 

  • To enhance the resilience of Indian Agriculture covering crops, livestock and fisheries to climatic variability and climate change through development and application of improved production and risk management technologies.
  • To demonstrate site specific technology packages on farmers’ field for adapting to current climate risks.
  • To enhance the capacity of scientists and other stakeholders in climate resilient agriculture research and its application.

 

Date of start of this programme:  February, 2011

 

Funding Agency :

 

ICAR, New Delhi

 

Principal Investigator:

 

R.M.Bhatt

 

Co-PIs :

 

Plant Physiology & Biochemistry

Dr. V. Ravindra

Dr. K. K. Upreti

Dr. K. S. Shivashankar

Dr. R. H. Laxman

Vegetable Crops

Dr. A. T. Sadashiva

Dr. S. Shankar Hebbar

Plant Pathology

Dr. A. K. Saxena

Fruit Crops

Dr. Y. T. N. Reddy

Dr. A. Rekha

Entomology

Dr. V. Sridhar

Dr. Kamala Jayanti

Soil Science

Dr. A. N. Ganeshmurthy

Dr. G. Selvakumar

TTC

Dr. S. D. Doijode

Dr. B. Balakrishna

Dr. Saju George

Biotechnology

Dr. K. V. Ravishankar

AICRP Tropical Fruits Cell

Dr. Prakash Patil

 

Achievements

 

The work was initiated on aspects like, phenotyping and genetic enhancement for imparting tolerance to high temperature and limited and excess moisture stress conditions in tomato and banana.

 

Tomato:

 

  • About 42 genotypes of tomato were evaluated for drought tolerance. Temperature Induction Response (TIR) technique has been standardized to identify and select the thermo-tolerant genotypes in tomato.
  • Isolation of drought tolerant microflora was carried out from the rhizospheric soil samples obtained from cultivated/ non cultivated plants growing in stresses eco-systems, with a special emphasis on the Christmas cactii (Opuntia leptocaulis) a desert plant. Bio-priming with osmotolerant plant growth promoting bacteria was found to improve and reduce the time taken for germination and enhanced seedling growth under osmotic stress conditions.
  • Standardized Thermal Day Degrees (TDD) under laboratory conditions for tomato pests were assessed based on the threshold temperatures available in the literature for the specific pest.
  • Modification of the root system can be a useful management strategy to impart tolerance to flooding. Grafting technique using brinjal root stocks for imparting physiological tolerance to flooding in tomato has been found to be of greater relevance to mitigate flooding stress in tomato.
  • The broad-bed and furrows system was developed by cut and fill method in an area of one hectare to mitigate flash flood effects and drought on vegetable crops.

 

Banana:

 

  • A total of 28 drought related gene specific primers were used for cDNA to analyze expression pattern in Grandnaine (AAA) and Elakkibale (AB) banana.

 

Mango:

 

  • Based on the Ecoclimatic index (EI) it was observed that the pest incidence may increase in future in temperate areas in contrast to the decreasing trend in areas where already the prevailing temperatures are near upper thresholds for S. litura.
  • The mango fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis peaked in June (1309 per trap) to July (1091 per trap) coinciding with active mango cropping period. Prediction of the potential distribution of Oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis Hendel, a polyphagous pest, was done for future climate change scenarios of Indian conditions by using CLIMEX software. Climate change is expected to have adverse effect on the potential distribution of B. dorsalis in India. The fly is expected to spread northwards into areas that are currently cold.
  • A roving survey undertaken for the mango orchards located in the state of Karnataka revealed that Black Banded disease; Leaf Blight and Mango Malformation that were minor earlier have become serious now.
  • Work on conservation horticulture practices in mango and carbon sequestration studies were in progress. A 35 year old Alphonso mango orchard was brought under conservation horticulture management through conservation practices like zero tillage, orchard floor management with six legume and three non leguminous crops. All legume based crops contained highest microbial populations such as bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes and yeast, while non-legume crops contained the least.
  • An experiment was conducted to understand the role of temperature in determining the bisexual flower formation in mango (cvs. Alphonso and Totapuri). In cv. Totapuri sex ratio varied from 0.37 to 0.45 within a range of minimum temperature of 15 to 20°C whereas, in cv. Alphonso 0.07 to 0.784 within the same range of minimum temperature. Alphonso appears to be more temperature sensitive for sex ratio of flowers than cv. Totapuri.
  • The cover crop Mucuna, a legume, has resulted in an appreciable increase in the levels of organic C and nutrients than any other crop. Glomalin a polysaccharide which is responsible for aggregate formation has shown significant relationship with the aggregate content of the soil indicating that the recent change in cropping has resulted in these changes. 
  • Mango phenology work is initiated A roving survey in the coastal Konkan region of Maharashtra indicated that >95% of the orchards showed phenological stages between vegetative flush to panicle emergence and even fruits at different stages of growth on the same tree were occurring concurrently, leading to the phenomenon of staggered flowering irrespective of the variety. Indiscriminate use of paclobutrazol and abrupt changes in the weather conditions like unseasonal rains, prolonged winter conditions and erratic rainfall are presumably resulting in staggered flowering behaviour and poor yields.

 

Demonstration of Climate Resilient Technologies:

 

  • Demonstrations on climate resilient technologies of the institute under soil and water stress/scarce conditions were undertaken in different villages on farmers’ field.

 

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