Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Farmers & climate change

Ninety per cent of total cropped area of pulses may be under rainfed agriculture (“Insure farmers against climate change”, May 12), but steps should be taken to increase investment in irrigation facilities. For example, our productivity of rice is half that of China but we use up to three times more water to produce a tonne of grain. Improved irrigation will not only increase productivity but also reduce imports. Focussing on crop varieties that can withstand flooding, popularising bio-saline farming in coastal areas and creating awareness among farmers about climate-resilient agriculture are steps that must be undertaken.
M. Ram Sundar, Theni, Tamil Nadu
In India we have large numbers of tenant farmers which many people are perhaps unaware of. Whenever crop is damaged, it is the owner and not the tenant farmer who is compensated. In looking for solutions, a system that provides each village timely rain forecasts and information about crop pests and epidemics in various seasons must be thought of. A debt moratorium policy on drought-distressed hotspots and areas facing climate change calamities should be announced. Compensation under insurance for crop losses should be in such a way that a farmer gets the amount equivalent to the average crop yield of the respective crop.
T.S.N. Rao, Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh
The johad type of farming (in west India) must be popularised across the rest of India. Here, a johad, or an earthen structure with concave-shaped barriers, catches and conserves rainwater to help improve percolation and groundwater recharge. It is built across a slope and has a high embankment on three sides. The fourth is open for rainwater. Soil must be enriched with organic fertilizer. Crop improvement and diversification must be thought of.
Ankit Galgat, Panipat, Haryana

Source : The Hindu

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