Joint climate project by Swiss agency and NABARD

Pune: In an initiative to empower rural communities to cope with vagaries of nature, a Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) project covering 25 villages in neighbouring Ahmednagar district has been launched with involvement of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperaton (SDC) and National Agriculture and Rural Development Bank (NABARD).

The CCA project, funded by SDC to the tune of Rs 20 crore aims at developing strategies, knowledge, processes and measures in order to enhance the capacity of rural communities to adapt to the impending impact of climate change and will cover the largely agriculture-dependent population in Sangamner and Akole talukas of the district.

Switzerland ambassador in India Philippe Welti who was here after a visit to the project this week, said the embassy was committed to promoting partnership projects that seek to address "common worries and challenges" of global scale like climate change.

To be funded by SDC and NABARD, the CCA project would be implemented by Watershed Organizaton Trust (WOTR), an NGO, covering about 34,000 hectares of land involving over 9,000 households.

"The project seeks to give inputs on sustainable agriculture and prepare farmers for unseasonal rains," said WOTR representative at a joint media interaction to highlight the initiative of the Swiss embassy in coordination with NABARD.

The CCA project envisages a sustainable ecosystem in the area of its coverage in Ahmednagar district with an increased productivity of natural resources that contribute to improved quality of life of the economically vulnerable target group.

Welti said his country intended to extend developmental aid for various projects in India thorugh SDC by promoting cooperation and partnerships to address the common global challenges.

The project is conceived to better equip rural communities to deal effectively with climate change impact and plan integrated disaster risk reduction strategies with the Swiss support.
According to M V Ashok, CMD, NABARD, the bank had also lent technical support to the project which could be expanded to Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh in addition to Maharashtra.