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Supporting small farmers to adapt to the changes due to El-Nino on Agriculture Sector in Sindh
By: SDPI
Donors: NRSP and World Bank

Duration: May 2017- September 2017

Project Team: Dr Shehryar Toru, Syed Mohsin Ali, Ghamz E Ali Siyal 
Introduction

This baseline study is the outcome of a World Bank project partnered with National Rural Support Program (NRPS) and Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). Conducted in four union councils, namely Doulatpur, Kak, Kheerao and Chitori through semi-structured questionnaire, focus group discussions and key informant interviews, the aims to assess and adapt to El-Niño for reducing its impact on agriculture sector with the support of small farmers in Sindh province of Pakistan. 

Climatic change and El-Niño impact are evident from decrease in rainfall, increase in temperature and humidity, change in number of hot and cold days, irregularities in length of growing period, and uncertainty regarding weather forecast. These changes have led to climatic induced disaster of drought, heat stress and floods, which have negatively affected crops, livestock, orchards as well as human health. The prolonged impact of climate change and El-Niño can surely affect frequency and intensity of such weather events. Therefore, adaptation by farmers can help reduce vulnerabilities faced by the agriculture sector.

It is hoped that this document would provide a viable solution about adaptation strategies to improve agriculture sector in Mirpurkhas district. Besides, it can be a good source of knowledge for understanding the impact of climate change and El- Niño in Sindh province.
Objectives:
  • The main objectives of this study are: 
  • To review the agricultural component of Pakistan’s climate change policy and related policy instruments that correlate with the proposed intervention
  • To access the local knowledge about the El-Niño and climate change
  • To review the strategies  used at community level to deal with El-Niño and climate change issue
  • To review the agricultural and livestock practices in target areas 
  • To carry out data analysis to derive actionable recommendations for improving the agricultural practices and climate change adaptation and mitigation in Sindh
Recommendations
  1. There should be a risk planning through community driven development to cope with the impact of El-Niño, (like drought, floods, heat stress and dealing with their outcomes).   
  2. There is a need to initiating trainings to create awareness of area-specific crop inputs, effective water utilizations, climate resilient practices, livestock care and management, and adaptation strategies for climate change, and El-Niño.  
  3. Decrease in toxic fertilizers (having high pH values) to improve soil conditions. Farmers should use fertilizers that possess Ammonium Sulphate, Sulphur potash, and dung for cultivation purpose.
  4. There is a need to increase fodder for animals by planting drought resistant plants and trees (like, Devi, and Babur) to increase fodder supply. 
  5. Early warning system must be improved by providing weather forecast information to people at least three weeks prior for any unexpected changes of rains, temperature e.g. (intensity of rainfall, drought, flooding and storm). 
  6. The government should also reduce documentation issues for increasing formal credit to small farmers. 
  7. The government should provide baardana to small farmers so that they could get support prices and subsidies.
  8. Access to gas should be increased to reduce deforestation.
  9. The government should launch incentive based schemes to support reforestation. 
  10. The government should increase awareness of farmers about Crop Loan Insurance Scheme (CLIS) which not only provides credit but also secures from natural calamities like floods, droughts, etc.