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National Innovations on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA)


National Innovations on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA)

National Innovations on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) is a network project of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). The project is aiming to enhance the resilience of Indian agriculture to climate change and climate vulnerability through strategic research and technology demonstration. The research for adaptation and mitigation covers crops, livestock, fisheries and natural resource management. The project consists of four components, and they are Strategic Research, Technology Demonstration, Capacity Building, and Sponsored/Competitive Grants.

Climate change is an important area of concern for the whole world and to India as well. Ensuring food and nutritional security for the growing population like India is challenging as the primary source of food is through agriculture. India is predicted to yield less between 4.5 & 9% due to change in the climate. Since agriculture makes up around 16% of India’s GDP, a 4.5 to 9% negative impact on agri production implies a cost of climate change to be roughly up to 1.5% of GDP per year. Hence, the Government of India has favoured high priority on research and development to withstand climate change in the agriculture sector.


The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) has launched a Project entitled, National Initiative on Climate Resilient Agriculture (NICRA) with the below objectives:

  • To enhance the resilience of Indian agriculture which covers crops, livestock and fisheries to climatic variability and climate change through the development of technologies
  • To demonstrate site-specific technology packages on farmers’ fields
  • To enhance the capacity building of scientists and other stakeholders in climate-resilient agricultural research and its application

Components of the Project

Both short term and long term outputs are expected from the new and improved varieties of crops, livestock breeds, management practices which helps in adaptation & mitigation and inputs for creating a policy on climate-resilient agriculture in the developmental planning. The overall outcome has improved the resilience of agricultural production to climate variability in vulnerable regions. The project is comprising of four components:

  • Strategic research on adaptation and mitigation
  • Technology demonstration on farmers’ fields with present climate variability
  • Sponsored and competitive research grants to fill research
  • Capacity building of stake-holders

Strategic Research

The research and development have been planned at leading research institutes of ICAR covering crops, horticulture, livestock, natural resource management and fisheries sectors. The project is focusing on major crops like banana, wheat, rice, pigeonpea, groundnut, maize, tomato, mango and cattle, buffalo and small ruminants among livestock and both marine and freshwater fish species of economic importance. The major research themes are:

  • Assessment of major production zones
  • Linking weather-based agro-advisories
  • Assessing the impacts and evolving varieties which are tolerant to climatic disturbances like drought, heat, frost, flooding, etc. in food and horticulture crops
  • Effective monitoring of greenhouse gases
  • Evolving adaptation and mitigation plans through enhancing water and nutrient use efficiency and conservation agriculture
  • Studying environmental changes in pests, pest/pathogen-crop relationships and solutions with new pests and pathogens under climate change.
  • Adaptation of strategies in livestock through nutritional and environmental initiatives

Technology Demonstration

The technology demonstration component deals with demonstrating technologies for adapting crop and livestock production systems to climate variability. This component is implemented in selected districts of the country through location-specific interventions by Krishi Vigyan Kendras in a participatory model. The project is implemented in 100 districts covering over one lakh families across the country. The selection of districts are done on the following criteria:

  • Drought proneness
  • Cyclone proneness based on the frequency
  • Flood proneness
  • Vulnerability to the heat wave and cold wave
  • Actual incidence of floods and droughts

The interventions in the village panchayats are finalised following a participatory approach through the Village Climate Risk Management Committee (VCRMC) based on the climate-related problems in the village survey. The program was launched in all the villages by involving the state departments and leaders of the panchayats. This is to ensure local ownership from the beginning and convergence of related schemes currently in operation in the panchayat. The interventions are made in the following four areas:

  • Natural resources
  • Crop Production
  • Livestock and Fisheries
  • Institutional Interventions

Sponsored and competitive grants

The critical issues like impact on plant pollinators, fisheries in esturian habitats, hail storm management, hill and mountain eco-system, small ruminants and socio-economic aspects of climate change etc. are provided with grants to undertake research.

Capacity Building

As climate change is an emerging area of science, capacity building of young scientists on simulation modelling, phenotyping, greenhouse gasses measurement, etc. is being taken up through training programs organised in India and sponsoring scientists abroad. Similarly, more than 100 training programs have been organised across the country, covering 50000 farmers to create awareness on climate change and variability.

Approach of the Scheme

The unique features of the Scheme to be implemented are:

  • Strengthening the net-work research on adaptation and mitigation with more infrastructure and capacity building
  • Setting up of phenotype platforms and temperature, CO2, ozone gradient facilities at locations/institutions
  • Strengthening research on crops like cotton, maize, sugarcane, onion, etc. which are sensitive to climate
  • Water availability at the basin level and participatory action at a large number of sites through water-saving technologies
  • Planning for a national level pest and disease monitoring system to assess the changing pest dynamics under changing climate
  • Strengthening crop simulation and down-scaling modelling capabilities
  • Piloting the operationalisation of the district/block level agromet advisory services during droughts and floods
  • Expanding the technology demonstration and dissemination to the selected 130 vulnerable districts of the country


For further information regarding the project, please contact:

Deputy Director General (Natural Resource Management)
Indian Council of Agricultural Research
Krishi Anusandhan Bhavan–II
Pusa Road
New Delhi.
Phone: +91-11-25848364

Director (A)
Saidabad P.O., Hyderabad-500059. Telangana
Phone: +91-40-24530177,
Fax: +91-40-24531802
E-mail: [email protected],in, [email protected]

For activities of participating ICAR Institutes and KVKs, you may contact either Principal Investigators/Directors of respective institutes or Zonal Project Directorates (ZPD).