Climate change is serious long-term challenge: Swaminathan

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Ahmedabad, Nov 28 (UNI) Noted agricultural scientist and National Commission on Farmers chairman M S Swaminathan today said that climate change is the most serious long-term challenge facing the world today and farmers will be the first to be affected.

Dr Swaminathan was addressing the young scientists and students of Indian Institute of Advanced Research (IIAR) at Koba near Gandhinagar.

He said under the national policy for farmers, legislation has already been tabled for consideration before the Parliament last Friday, for appointing one man and one woman in every village panchayat as ''climate manager'' to be trained in every aspect of climate managing.

Farmers and other land managers can change their practices to help reduce the impacts of climate change on the wider economy and society, he said.

''A paradigm shift has taken place in agriculture research, which has necessarily become participative research, taking place in collaboration with farmers and women,'' he added.

The 21st century research will be more joint effort rather than lab-to-land and it's going to be participative knowledge management, he stressed.

Agriculture can play a key role in providing bio-energy to replace fossil fuels, Dr Swaminathan said.

Speaking on the occasion, IIAR executive director Manju Sharma said farmers can tackle and adapt to climate change as part of developing a sustainable agricultural business.

She informed that a vibrant postgraduate academic program in the frontier areas of modern biology will start at the institute from the year 2008.

UNI

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