<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra government has decided to set up a committee under the chairmanship of a top bureaucrat for the implementation of a Rs 4,000-crore project on climate resilient agriculture.The programme aims to reduce farmers’ dependence on unpredictable weather cycles and enhance resilience of agriculture to climate change and vulnerability through research and use of technology. The seven-member panel, headed by the Principal Secretary (Agriculture), has been set up with a target of selecting 4,000 drought-prone villages for the implementation of the project, according to a Government Resolution (GR) issued two days ago.The committee would select 3,000 villages from eight districts of Marathwada region, while the remaining 1,000 will be chosen from six districts of Vidarbha, it said. The panel has been asked to select indicators related to weather, agriculture and social status of the villages from Marathwada and Vidarbha based on which they would be ranked.”The Marathwada and Vidarbha regions have been at the receiving end of climatic variations. Erratic showers and heavy spells have damaged crops very often in the last few years,” a senior officer of Agriculture Department said. “A climate resilient cropping pattern could be useful to minimise loss of crops. Unless there is a scientific approach to climatic variations, farmers can not sustain themselves,” the officer said.The Vice-Chancellors of Vasantrao Naik Marathwada Agriculture College, Parbhani, and Akola-based Panjabrao Deshmukh Agriculture University, State Agriculture Commissioner and Director General of Groundwater Surveys will be the among members of the committee. Director of the Project on Climate Resilient Agriculture would be the Member-Secretary, while Randhir Savarkar, MLA from Akola (East) would be the only non- administration member of the panel, the GR added.