Agricultural experts from SAARC nations will present a position paper on ways to address impact of climate change on agriculture at the SAARC regional summit, which kicked off today.
More than 80 senior officers and agricultural experts from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka attended the inaugural session of the three-day conference in Hyderabad.
The experts will also discuss adaptation measures for climate resilient agrarian systems.
"The consultation will not only strengthen partnership among SAARC countries on climate resilient agricultural systems, but also cover research, economics and innovative policy towards climate smart agriculture in South Asia.
"A discussion on the UNFCCC decision on agriculture will also be held during the conference," an official statement said.
The conference on "Climate Resilient Agricultural Policies, Strategies and Programmes" was inaugurated by Telengana Chief Secretary Shailendra Kumar Joshi, at ICAR-National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM).
Joshi said that it was a unique opportunity to shape and strengthen the process, as well as global attention and action to support climate resilient agricultural systems and dependent communities.
We, in South Asia, have many things in common in agricultural practices, food systems and therefore, there is a great opportunity to share our experiences towards effective adaptation to climate change, Joshi said.
The regional consultation is also opportune because parties to the UNFCCC at CoP23 had put in place for the first time a joint work programme on climate change and agriculture, the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture.
SAARC accounts for one-fourth of the global population and around 67 per cent of its population lives in rural areas (as per 2014 statistics).
Almost half of the workforce is employed in the agriculture sector and around 42 per cent of South Asia's landmass is under agricultural operation, the statement said.
Much of the agricultural production in the region is undertaken by small holders and an average range of landholding in SAARC countries varies between 0.3 to 1.4 hectares.
Agriculture plays a central role in South Asian economies, lives and livelihoods. Crops grown in the region are important, both for regional and global food security, it added.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)