Nagothu Udaya Sekhar

Research Professor

(+47) 990 15 621
nagothu.udayasekhar@nibio.no

Place
Ås F20

Visiting address
Fredrik A. Dahls vei 20, 1430 Ås

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Abstract

Several studies focus on the effects of climate variability on female and male gender relations as perceived through various biophysical and socio-economic aspects. More emphasis is given on the impacts of extreme weather events on rural communities of less developed regions. The results are often interpreted in a qualitative manner through policy measures that may reduce gender inequalities. However, the interpretation of the qualitative results to more crisp and measurable outputs is often not attained while the validation of the findings is rarely ensured. The current study suggests a gender-differentiated impact framework based on qualitative and quantitative components for the assessment of climate variability effects on rural communities in South India. Fifteen villages mostly practicing rice farming in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states were selected as representative drought-prone case studies. The study results advocate that the qualitative outcomes were validated from the quantitative approach but for a few cases which could be attributed to methodological and case-specific differentiations. Policy recommendations are made on common gender trainings in water-resistant crops and livestock activities for the alleviation of drought impact and abatement of gender inequalities. Also, entrepreneurship workshops for women could enhance gender balance and diverse family income from the current sole dependence on farming revenues. Regional climate adaptation programs could be better implemented when the specific features and capacities of local communities are taken into consideration.

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Bangladesh often suffers from droughts and floods that cause substantial harm to households and communities. The frequency of such events is expected to increase with climate change. Assessing the vulnerability to climate change is a promising evaluation tool that can assist in identifying and improving adaptation strategies at various geographical scales. In this paper, we examine the vulnerability status of two regions in Bangladesh, one in the north, which is frequently impacted by severe droughts, and one in the south, which is exposed to regular flooding, high water, and salinity. We evaluate the exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity of each region using demographic, agro-economic, infrastructural, and biophysical indicators. We consider information obtained in a literature review, interviews with local experts, household surveys, and field visits in the study areas. We use principal components analysis to assess vulnerability to climate change between and within the north and south regions. The flood-prone, saline region in the south appears less vulnerable to climate change the northern drought prone areas, although further validation is needed.

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Climate change and variability associated with natural hazards such as flooding, storms, droughts, increasing temperature, sea level rise and salinity have been a continuous threat to the life and property of Vietnamese society in the past and will continue to do so in the future in not addressed properly. A majority are smallholders, highly vulnerable and without the capacity to invest much in adaptation. Thus any new adaptation measures have to be simple, low cost, help in reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs), and easily adaptable. This manual draws lessons from selected mitigation and adaptation measures evaluated in the project. The manual examines three key aspects needed to scale-up and replicate the measures at the provincial level. The first is the institutional structures, including inputs needed, farmer and stakeholder capacity at the commune, district and provincial levels, barriers to scaling-up, and how to address them. Secondly, how demonstrating effective climate-resilient technologies on farmer fields, closely involving farmers, can provide good results for scaling-up. Third, the impacts of policies to enhance enabling environments for scaling-up. There is a need to prioritize short-term and long-term measures for scaling-up. It is important to generate funds to support the scaling-up, both from state and private sources. Active stakeholder integration is a necessary factor where the authorities, farmers, scientists, civil society and industry are working closely in the process. Knowledge transfer has to be done both through linear and non-linear extension models that will be more effective in providing timely and complete knowledge to farmers and stakeholders. […]

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A total of 967 students (males and females) from four secondary schools in Vysocina region of Czechia were interviewed via 24‐question Likert‐type questionnaire to assess student’s environmental awareness and perceptions. The generalized linear models were used to test if (and to what extent) student perceptions related to environment are/ or not influenced by various factors including gender, age, place of residence, educational level, and specialization. The results showed that students’ age, place of residence, education level and their specialization did not significantly affect (p<0.05) their environmental perceptions. However, gender appeared to be statistically significant (p<0.05) influencing student environmental perceptions and also showed linkages to basic environmental education, attitudes and engagement of students in science-related activities. Our results strongly support the need for more environmental education, awareness campaigns in the schools and engaging students in outdoor environment related activities. Future research should include detail environmental surveys targeting school students across Czechia.

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The objective of this study is to better understand socio-economic and gender-differentiated impacts and perceptions of climate change in rice farms in Southern Viet Nam. Focus group discussions and a household survey of both male and female farmers in 160 households were conducted in four villages of Soc Trang and Tra Vinh provinces. These coastal provinces are located at the mouth of the Mekong delta in southern Viet Nam, an area highly at risk of climate variability and climate change causing exacerbating problems of saline intrusion and drought episodes. The survey found that the farm households heavily relied on rice for their livelihood, and that rice contributed to 79 % of the farmer’s total income. In the last 10 years, 95 % of the Soc Trang households and 89 % of the Tra Vinh province had experienced damage to their livelihoods due to salinity and/or drought. The residents in Soc Trang and Tra Vinh province are mostly Khmer ethnic, followed by Kinh (Vietnamese) people. Most of the households are rice farmers, having their own lands. Husbands are generally the household heads and the landowners, and they little education, but in general more educated than women. Both male and female farmers perceived the existence of climate change and variability and recognized its adverse impacts on crop production, animal husbandry, and fishing, as well as other household activities. Low crop yields, and even occasionally total crop losses were rated as the major impacts, leading to increased debt and food insecurity. Farmers coping strategies included change of rice varieties; leave land fallow during severe drought; change of the cropping pattern; more cash crops; and off-farm work. Women not only did the same tasks as men in farming traditionally but also contributed to seed preparation, replanting, hand weeding, removing off types, drying and sacking. Womens’ workload inn recent years increased more than that of men due to climate variation. It was found that male farmers are more likely than female farmers to adopt technologies that can reduce vulnerability to climate change. These technologies included the use of stress-tolerant crop varieties; planting of early, medium or late varieties to avoid crop loss to variations in presence of drought/salinity; pest and disease management techniques; and development and use of crop varieties resistant to pests and diseases. Both female and male farmers had equal access to credit and money loans in the periods of extreme weather events. Moreover, female farmers tend to spend less money, and they stored food to cover basic needs, while male farmers are used to seek wage labor or migrate. The respondents, especially women, reported a lack of adequate extension and technical information about how to cope with agriculture under climate variability. Thus, in situations of salinity and drought, rice farmers reverted to traditional practices with low rice yield outputs, and the Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) varied from 1.2 to 1.6 only. Given the important role of women in rice production , rural extension should not ignore women farmers in the development of the extension programs related to agriculture adaptation and climate change. Moreover, mitigation measures should address the needs of both men and women, and ethnic people living in the areas affected by climate change. Any new adaptation measures have to be simple, help in reducing GHGs, low cost and easily adaptable, since majority of farmers are small or marginal landholders with little education and low investment capacity and the government does not have adequate resources.

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Video: How should India and other countries adapt their agricultural practices to a changing climate? In a new film, researchers explain how they go about in the ClimaAdapt project when developing new rice growing technologies and undertaking capacity building of farmers.

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The three year multidisciplinary ClimaViet project (July 2013 to June 2016) implemented jointly by the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS) and the Norwegian Institute for Agriculture and Environmental Research (Bioforsk) is focusing mainly on the future climate change impacts on rice production in Vietnam with financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway. As a first step, the project has reviewed the current studies and programs related to climate change and agriculture taken by other agencies in Vietnam. The existing climate scenarios were downscaled and the climate impacts on seasonality in rainfall leading to droughts and salinity in coastal areas on rice production were assessed. Potential measures leading to improved rice cropping systems and improved nutrient use efficiency are being pilottested in the three study areas located in Nam Dinh, Soc Trang and Tra Vinh provinces. The results are expected to contribute to sustained productivity and climate change mitigation. Towards the end, the project will develop the institutional and policy guidelines required to adopt the potential measures identified and tested in the project. The project involves stakeholders at the provincial and national level (VAAS, MARD, MONRE and other relevant stakeholders) for better uptake of results.

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The effects of climate change are unequally distributed between female and male gender in agrarian communities, particularly in developing countries. The agrarian regions of South India offer some representative examples where extreme events such as drought and floods influence gender inequalities. The current study assesses the potential effects of climate change as reflected through weather extremes to gender in agricultural communities of Andhra Pradesh state in South India. The findings signify that no major existent inequalities could be found in the study areas. There is though some uncertainty on the income contribution of males and females in a household and the economic independency of female gender. All the more, a different attitude between men and women was confirmed towards the concerns and initiatives to be undertaken mainly against droughts events. This differentiation could be the cause for the creation of future inequalities because the unilateral decisions seem to provoke unequal access to natural, social and economic resources.

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ClimaRice II has explored the potential for climate adaptation and mitigation through online dissemination of pest risk forecasts to rice farmers. Weather-driven mathematical models incorporating scientific insights on the biological responses of plant pests to climate can be linked to automatic weather station networks to provide pest risk forecasting / forewarning / early warning to rice farmers

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Impact of climate change is likely to have serious influences on agriculture and water sectors and eventually on the food security and livelihoods of a large section of the rural population in developing countries. To improve the adaptive capacity of the agriculture and water sectors in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, ClimaAdapt Programme (Adaptation to climate change: An integrated science--‐stakeholder--‐policy approach to develop Adaptation framework for Water and Agriculture sectors in Tamil Nadu and Andhra pradesh states in India) is undertaken in selected pockets of Krishna (Left canal (DC4) and right canal of Nagarjuna Sagar (DC 21) in Andhra Pradesh) and Cauvery (Kalingarayan canal basin at Erode district and Ponnaniar reservoir basin at Thiruchirapalli district, Tamil Nadu) river basins. The first and foremost need of the project is developing climate and hydrological scenarios for identifying and upscaling appropriate adaptation technologies. From ClimaRice (a feeder project to ClimaAdapt), climate scenarios for the current and future were developed by International Pacific Research Centre (IPRC), Hawaii. Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU), Coimbatore and International Water Management institute (IWMI), Hyderabad in coordination with Indian institute of Technology (Madras), Chennai developed the hydrological scenarios. In the current study, these scenarios were extracted for the ClimaAdapt programme regions and presented for the impact assessment and development of adaptation strategies for managing the changing climate.

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Access to sufficient quantities of water of acceptable quality is a basic need for human beings and a pre-requisite to sustain and develop human welfare. In cases of limited availability, the allocation of water between different sectors can result in conflicts of interests. In this study, a modified version of the Building Block Methodology (BBM) was demonstrated for allocation of waters between different sectors. The methodology is a workshop-based tool for assessing water allocation between competing sectors that requires extensive stakeholder involvement. The tool was demonstrated for allocation of water in the Sri Ram Sagar water reservoir in the Godavari Basin, Andhra Pradesh, India. In this multipurpose reservoir, water is used for irrigation, drinking water supply and hydropower production. Possible water allocation regimes were developed under present hydrological conditions (normal and dry years) and under future climate change, characterized by more rain in the rainy season, more frequent droughts in the dry season and accelerated siltation of the reservoir, thus reducing the storage capacity. The feedback from the stakeholders (mainly water managers representing the various sectors) showed that the modified version of the BBM was a practical and useful tool in water allocation, which means that it may be a viable tool for application also elsewhere.

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This Technical brief is a short summary of the results obtained from the laboratory and field trials conducted by Climarice project team, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India to evaluate the potentials of microbial inoculants (biofertilizers) such as Blue Green Algae, Azolla and Phosphobacteria in minimizing the impacts of climate change in rice cultivation by nutrient supplementation, methane emission reduction and carbon sequestration. Cyanobacteria (Blue green algae) as a biofertilizer for rice in supplementing nitrogen is highly promising as the rice field ecosystem provides congenial environment for this self supporting diazotroph. Azolla is a floating water fern that also fixes atmospheric nitrogen. Azolla and Cyanobacteria have been identified as eco-friendly natural nitrogen fixers in the rice field ecosystem. A judicious use of these blue green algae could provide entire rice acreage of India as much nitrogen as obtained from 15-17 lakh tonnes of urea. Cyanobacterial nitrogen fixation helps to minimize the over dependence of chemicals, in particular, urea in rice farming and also enhances the use efficiency of nitrogen by releasing ammonia constantly to the rice crop.

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Adapting to changing climate is essential for individuals and communities to sustain their livelihoods. Improving adaptive capacity at various levels is essential, and this can be done by strengthening ongoing initiatives, introducing new measures, training and capacity building. One of the main focus areas of the Climarice projects is to train the farmers on implementing various adaptation technologies that would increase the water and nutrient use efficiencies at field level. Climarice project scientists have identified various technologies such as usage of biofertilizers such as blue green algae and azolla to improve the nutrient use efficiency in paddy cultivation, application of green manures to enhance soil organic matter content, introduction of short duration rice cultivar during delayed monsoon, cultivation of alternate crops for income generation, System of Rice intensification for enhancing water and grain productivity, usage of bio control agents such as Trichoderma and Pseudomonas for eco friendly management of pest and diseases etc.,. For the successful implementation of these technologies at field level, the farmers have to be given with training and exposure visits. ClimaRice project scientists have undertaken many capacity building programmes to farmers of Cauvery basin on various adaptation technologies and these programmes have created confidence among the farmers. Many farmers who have attended the training programmes are following the technologies with great interest. A summary of the training programmes and their impact are furnished in this report.

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Approximately 70% of shrimp consumed globally is farmed. India is ranked among the top five shrimp farming countries globally, and occurs mainly in the eastern coastal state of Andhra Pradesh (AP). More than 90% of the farms are less than 2 ha and are farmer owned, operated and managed. The objective of this study was to increase our understanding of climatic and socio-economic factors influencing this sector, through a survey of 300 shrimp farmers in AP in 2009/10. The farming communities were divisible into two groups: members of a society/cooperative and those operating individually. The latter were large scale adopting more intensive practices. The average production cost was Indian Rupees (IRS) 80,186 ha-1 and net income in summer and winter was IRS 221,901 and IRS 141,715, respectively. The mean technical efficiency estimated using Stochastic frontier function was 7% and 54%. The present study attempts to explain the difference in efficiencies using socio-economic and climatic variables, the latter being a novel approach. Among socio-economic variables, farming experience and membership in society were found to have a significant influence to improve technical and economic efficiencies. Further improvements in identifiable facets of the practices and a consequent increase in technical efficiency will make the sector less vulnerable to climatic change impacts.

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This Technical brief is a short summary of the results obtained from the field trials conducted at Agro Climate Research Centre, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India to understand the Pest dynamics at elevated temperature. Among the major food crops, rice (Oryza sativa L.) forms the stable food for more than half of the world’s population. Among various constrains in rice production, losses due to pest is a major concern. Climate change resulting in increased temperature could impact crop insect pest populations in several complex ways. Although some climate change temperature effects might tend to depress insect populations, most researchers seem to agree that warmer temperatures in temperate climates will result in more types and higher populations of insects. Hence, it is important to understand the population growth of the important insect pests such as yellow stem borer (Scirpophaga incertulas) and brown planthopper (Nilaparvata lugens) of rice. The results revealed that there was an inverse correlation between temperature and total life span, developmental time and also fecundity. However there was a positive correlation between temperature and net reproductive rate and development rate.

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This Technical brief is a short summary of the results obtained from the field trials conducted at Anbil Dharmalingam Agricultural College and Research Institute, Trichy, India during Rabi (2010-2011) to evaluate the role of photosynthetic diazotrophs in reducing methane flux from rice soil ecosystem as a part of climarice project. Global warming induced by increasing concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere is a matter of great environmental concern. Methane, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbon are the GHGs which have strong infrared absorption bands and trap part of the thermal radiation from the earth surface. Rice fields have to be considered as a significant source of greenhouse gases and rice field eco systems account for about 60 Tg methane per year or about 12 per cent of the global annual methane emission. The purpose of this study is to explore the potential of blue green algae and azolla in minimizing methane flux at source in paddy field ecosystem. In the present study, combined application of organics and blue green algae not only recorded higher yield, but also found to emit less methane in paddy cultivation than the application of organics alone.

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Farmers attempt to develop a different environment for rice under System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method by which the rice plants can exhibit their full potential. Major principles of SRI includes perfect land levelling, lower seed rate, transplanting young seedlings of 12 days old, single seedling / hill with wider spacing (25 x 25 cm), careful water management (applying a minimum of water during vegetative growth and at later stages maintaining only one inch water) and weed management using cono weeder thrice in the vegetative stage. Researchers and farmers’ experience in the Cauvery basin in Tamil Nadu from ClimaRice have shown that yields of rice could be increased considerably (18–27%) with reduced water consumption (22- 25%) and less expenditure, just by following SRI method of cultivation. Thus it is beneficial for small and marginal farmers under changing climatic conditions.

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Use of participatory stakeholder engagement processes could be important to reduce the risk of potential conflicts in managing contaminated sites. Most stakeholder engagement techniques are qualitative in nature and require experienced facilitators. This study proposes a multicriteria involvement process to enhance transparency and stakeholder participation and applies it to a contaminated sediment management case study for Bergen Harbor, Norway. The suggested multicriteria involvement process builds on the quantitative principles of multicriteria decision analysis and also incorporates group interaction and learning through qualitative participatory methods. Three different advisory groups consisting of local residents, local stakeholders, and nonresident sediment experts were invited to participate in a stakeholder engagement process to provide consensual comparative advice on sediment remediation alternatives. In order for stakeholders or residents to be able to embrace a complex decision such as selection of remediation alternatives, the involvement process with lateral learning, combined with multicriteria decision analysis providing structure, robustness and transparent documentation was preferable. In addition, a multicriteria involvement process resulted in consistent ranking of remediation alternatives across residents, stakeholder, and experts, relative to individual intuitive ranking without the multicriteria involvement process.