Agriculture- The Gamble

This year, we have had delayed rains, almost a month late. This has particularly affected the cultivation of the kharif/monsoon crops. Fortunately farmers have used their indigenous adaptation strategy in this situation. They have cultivated some of the drought resistant crops such as Corn, Pigeon Pea and Millets. The Corn was coming along well but just when the flowering started, there was scarcity of rain, might affect the yield in the coming months. Farmers are now hopeful about the other crops that they have cultivated. But the situation of those crops is unsure as well. Just last year the Pigeon Pea looked promising but the unseasonal rainfall during the  flowering period reduced the yield to just half of what was expected.

You can see cracks on the field

Now the farmers are left with only option of the winter crops although most of them don’t have lands available. The obvious reason is that, the lands will be available only after the monsoon crops have been harvested. But since the cultivation was delayed by a month, the harvest would also be delayed by at least a month eventually leading to delay in cultivation of winter crops.  The most severe consequence would be caused by the frost in the month of January. The heavy frost during January destroys some of the vegetables. It would a repeat of last years’ experience as unseasonal rainfall destroyed many crops and vegetables.

Previous year spoilt potato farm

So farmers are now burdened from every direction. The rain crop has been a failure due to late and very less rainfall affecting the timing for agriculture. The delay in winter crop seems obvious which would have severe consequence from frost. Farmers are hopeless in this situation and can’t dare to hope because of their horrible past experiences.

Pearl Millet in our hospital Campus

They can only wait and see what happens as they have done their part and now have to let nature take its course.  No wonder agriculture in India is a gamble. And for this region it is a biggest gamble, If they get good yield, their children would go to school for an another year,  if not the education stops as families migrate for livelihood. That’s what has been happening to all our poor farmers every day. But the state is happy with their unreal statistics. Nothing has done for these communities to deal with the current climate change. The people who are the least responsible for climate change are the ones who have been affected the most. At this point of time government has to do justice by improving the adaptation skills of the community and help them in developing contingency plans.  If government doesn’t look beyond and reach out, the green revolution which was started to combat food insecurity would become the biggest reason for famine.

May God bless the land…..That is our only hope…

Thank You

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