Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A strategy for Indian farmers

Business Standard (India): A newly-developed scientific strategy may finally end the woes of farmers by averting the possibility of lower crop production or even crop failure and higher food prices in the event of delay in monsoon rains. The four-pronged strategy developed by the International Crops Research for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) will also help vulnerable farming communities cope better with drought, global warming and other associated effects of climate change, according to a research paper of the institute.

"Climate change is real challenge and its implications are going to be borne by the poorest of the poor," says William Dar, ICRISAT's director general. "Delayed monsoons as well as below normal rainfall are not something new as these situations occur in rainfed areas very often," he says and recommends adoption of the strategy developed for improved crop production under rainfed conditions.

The strategy calls for growing of drought tolerant and climate change ready crops to match the available length of the growing season and low soil moisture, a contingency plan for replacement of crops affected by drought, efficient management of natural resources and empowering stakeholders through capacity building.

This science-based strategy has been showcased by an ICRISAT-led consortium at Kothapally in Andhra Pradesh. This model is being sealed out in 240 micro-watersheds in India, northeast Thailand, northern Vietnam and China benefiting 250,000 people, officials said....

Hill slopes in the Nilgiris being prepares for planting vegetables, shot by Rafeek Manchayil, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

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