Climate change and resilient dryland systems: experiences of ICRISAT in Asia and Africa
The article reviews and summarizes the climate change mitigation and adaptation work undertaken by ICRISAT. The effects of climate change are already being experienced in several parts of the world. Even though the effects of climate change will be felt over all kinds of agricultural production systems, they will be more pronounced in dryland areas where agriculture is totally dependent on rainfall. Simulation output analyses reveal that crop yield will decrease due to climate change and variability in drylands, but this can be mitigated in large parts by the application of existing knowledge on crop, soil and water management, and by retargeting and redeployment of the existing germplasms of the crops in the medium term (2010–2050). Integrated watershed management is an important tool to mitigate the climate change effects through soil conservation, improved water availability and other secondary benefits. Similarly, conservation agriculture practices under the integrated genetic and natural resources management strategy can help minimize the adverse effects of climate change on dryland agricultural productivity.