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Enhancing Climate Resilience of Gorakhpur City by Buffering Floods through Climate Resilient Peri-Urban Agriculture

Location: 
Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
Status: 
Completed
Started In: 
2012
Completed In: 
2018
Supported By: 
The Rockefeller Foundation

The peri-urban areas of Gorakhpur are particularly prone to recurring floods and waterlogging for two to three months every year, as a result of which small and marginal farmers suffer crop losses. Climate change projections have indicated that the intensity of extreme rainfall in Gorakhpur is likely to increase in the coming years, which will cause significant flooding in the city. Rapid urbanisation occurring in Gorakhpur is putting pressure on the natural resources and is absorbing the existing agricultural land in the city peripheries. Large-scale conversion of agriculture land for non- agricultural uses is exacerbating the risks of climate change.

With this backdrop, GEAG undertook an initiative to reduce the flood risks in Gorakhpur city through promoting maintenance of open spaces in the form of Peri-urban Agriculture (PUA). Resilient PUA not only plays an important role in maintaining the food and nutritional security for the urban areas but it also offers opportunities for new thinking about urban resilience. Maintenance of open green areas surrounding a city in the form of PUA provides flood buffering capacity to the city. It is also capable of replenishing groundwater which is a major source of fresh water for drinking and agricultural purposes.

The project was a part of the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) initiative of The Rockefeller Foundation.

The key activities of the project include:

  • Development of  models of climate-resilient integrated agriculture-horticulture-aquaculture-livestock systems in small, marginal landholdings
  • Community institution building and capacity building
  • SMS based weather agro-advisory helped farmers to be prepared to deal with the climate change patterns in a better way. The SMS which acts as an early warning system assisted the farmers in scheduling their irrigation, harvesting and other crop activities.
  • Micro-level research and advocacy on peri-urban agriculture and ecosystems for urban resilience building

 

Following are the major impacts of GEAG’s interventions:

  • The PUA, adopted as a strategy in the flood-prone areas of Gorakhpur, is serving as a means to keep the areas that are vulnerable to flooding, free from construction. Their natural functions (enhancing water storage and infiltration; reducing run-off) are being maintained resulting in fewer floods and reduced impacts of high rainfall.
  • It has worked in reducing vulnerabilities of the small and marginal farmers and enhanced their coping capacity to deal with impacts of floods. The average agricultural income of model farmers has more than doubled due to reduced input costs, crop diversifi­cation, crop intensification, expansion of agricultural land under cultivation, and reduced crop loss due to natural hazards such as floods. Income also increased because of better market linkages and better prices for products.
  • Two model farmers trained by GEAG namely Mrs Chanda Devi and Mrs Asha Devi who are smallholder farmers in village Semra Devi Prasad and Sanjhayi respectively have received the "Rani Laxmi Bai Veerta Puruskar" from Hon'ble Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Yogi Adityanath in March 2018. Adopting low external input sustainable agriculture (LEISA) practices have benefited these model women farmers. They have trained numerous other farmers in their village

 

Read their story here

 

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