In the early days, rainfall pattern used to be different with more number of rainy days and longer duration of rainfall. The intensity also used to be less, but such pattern of rainfall was beneficial for crops as the water used to get absorbed in the soil, which helped in replenishing the depleting water.
However, climate change now has adversely affected the rainfall pattern. Rainy days have now shrunk, and the amount of ground water has also decreased. Although the frequency of intense showers has risen its duration has become shorter. This pattern is not beneficial for the farmers as short intense bout of rain -two to three hours- doesn’t get absorbed by the soil. Such rains lead to intense flash flooding and don’t benefit the crops.
The farmers of Chhattisgarh are not well equipped with technology. They are largely dependent on monsoon rains for irrigation purpose. Natural irrigation facilities like rivers, water bodies are also rare in the state due to its terrain.
Therefore, there is a need to discuss latest cropping patterns and hybrid methods with the farmers of Chhattisgarh as they are still stuck with traditional farming methods. Due to less rainfall, paddy crop that is grown in the area is majorly hit as it requires more water. Farmers need to be educated about weather and climate resilient farming methods and techniques. It seems like all these new variety of seeds clubbed with climate resilient farming methods would help improving the farming methods as well.
The present government has taken steps to directly help farmers by building capacity in the form of the ‘Narwa, Garuwa, Ghurwa, and Baadi’ scheme that is aimed at developing micro-watershed structures for groundwater recharge and increasing surface water irrigation, livestock development, promoting vermicomposting and developing kitchen gardens. This would help develop climate resilience and encourage sustainable agriculture. Its implementation at the field-level, though, is yet to be evaluated.
Image Credit: Nikkei Asian Review
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