Rainfed Agriculture

  • A recent study by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water offers insights into Zero Budget Natural Farming (ZBNF) vis-à-vis its effect on the economics of agriculture in Andhra Pradesh. The study titled ‘Can Zero Budget Natural Farming Save Input Costs and Fertiliser Subsidies? Evidence from...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 5 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • A committee has been constituted to draft a new National Water Policy (NWP) and make key changes in the water governance structure and regulatory framework. It is chaired by Mihir Shah, who is a former Planning Commission member and a water expert. The committee is expected to produce a report withi...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 5 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Droughts are becoming common in India India has a long history of droughts. There were 26 major droughts from 1870 to 2018, when the All India Summer Monsoon Rainfall (AISMR) was found to be lesser than the mean rainfall for the country. Even the most recent drought was disastrous for India, affect...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 6 months 1 week agoread more
  • This compendium by Mihir Kumar Maitra is a valuable resource for all practitioners engaged in watershed management activities in the field. The first part of the book addresses the technical and engineering aspects useful in developing natural resources like land, surface water, groundwater, crops a...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 6 months 1 week agoread more
  • The recent trade war between the United States and China was, among other things, about virtual water - the hidden water in products. Producing anything, whether it is soyabean or clothes, uses water, and has a water footprint. Even after production, shipping and trading also have a hidden water cos...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 6 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • A new study finds that introducing coarse cereals such as millet and sorghum could improve India’s national food supply in many ways. The study by the Data Science Institute at Columbia University found that India’s agricultural policies have largely focused on the single objective of maxim...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 6 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Pune continues to face a water crisis every summer despite having sufficient water, thanks to its geographical location and plentiful natural water assets. While enough of its water needs are taken care of by water supply from the Khadakwasla dam, the use of groundwater to meet the needs of the popu...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 8 months 1 week agoread more
  • Madhya Pradesh, promoted as 'The Heart of India' by the state's tourism board is aptly named so because of its central location. The campaign made me keen to visit the state, for the last many years. I was therefore extremely fortunate that during my internship with the Watershed Organization Trust ...
    iwpposted 8 months 1 week agoread more
  • To many in the water sector, K. J. Joy needs no introduction. An activist at heart, Joy is known for his untiring rights based work in mobilising communities in rural Maharashtra, and for his research work on water and water related conflicts including inter-state riparian water conflicts. In a con...
    priyadposted 8 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Goa government, farmers against MoEF for proposing re-designation of the state’s low lying lands In its proposal, the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM), a scientific body under the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, has redefined coastal areas in Goa as 'land...
    swatiposted 8 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • India finally announced that it would increase its targets of restoring degraded lands from 21 million hectares to 26 million hectares[1]. This target comes on the heels of weeks of conjecture on the "big announcement" expected from the host country during the UNCCD COP14 meeting in Delhi. While th...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 9 months 6 days agoread more
  • India has witnessed extreme weather conditions this year. While parts of the north and south have battled drought like conditions this summer, the northeast and western coastal areas witnessed heavy rains and floods.While climate change has been highlighted as one of the reasons for these extreme ev...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 9 months 6 days agoread more
  • The Water Future Conference in Bangalore last week, saw many from the scientific community, academia, research, civil society and the media come together to discuss the state of water resources across the world and in India, as well as future pathways and scenarios, and different technological and i...
    priyadposted 9 months 1 week agoread more
  • New Delhi, September 27 (India Science Wire): Rising sea levels, increasing number of extreme weather events, urban floods, changing temperature and rainfall patterns - such impacts of climate change are being felt in many parts of India, and not just in the coastal areas or hilly regions.  To...
    priyadposted 9 months 1 week agoread more
  • Pandutalav, a small quiet village nestled in the dry teak forests in the tribal pocket in Dewas boasts an authentic rural way of life. This little dot on the map is known for its attempts to introduce indigenous varieties of crops, in particular pearl millet these days. Mahila Jagat Lihaaz Samiti (M...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 9 months 1 week agoread more
  • While enhanced irrigation coverage has been hailed as an important way to improve agricultural productivity, it continues to lag behind in India and agriculture continues to be rainfed, subject to the vagaries of the monsoon. High groundwater dependence for irrigation has not only led to its depleti...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 9 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • Arecanut is generally grown in the Malnad area of Karnataka, which receives high rainfall. However, it is also grown in dry land areas of Tumkur district, also in Karnataka, using groundwater. Arecanut cultivation area doubled from 5851 hectares in 1990-91 (Kumar 2003) to 12,628 hectares in 2001-02 ...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 9 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • While most parts of the country are facing a water crisis, here’s a case from the arid state of Rajasthan, where decentralized initiatives are solving water issues. Dungarpur in southern Rajasthan has exemplified how community participation with local level planning processes are working towards i...
    Anonymous (not verified)posted 9 months 4 weeks agoread more
  • Since the 25th of July, there have been four consecutive weeks of surplus rainfall which have compensated for the delayed onset of monsoon and the deficient rains recorded in June and early July.  July had ended with a countrywide deficit of 9%, but vigorous Monsoon conditions took the rains to...
    priyadposted 10 months 1 week agoread more
  • P Sainath has been documenting stories from rural India for over three decades now. He is the founder-editor of People's Archive of Rural India (PARI), a digital archive dedicated to people whose voices and stories don't always find space in mainstream media. Sainath previously covered the rural bea...
    priyadposted 10 months 3 weeks agoread more

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Institutions are a key arsenal in rural India's pandemic fight.

Covid-19 will have major implications in rural areas where the Foundation for Ecological Security (FES), a non-profit organisation has been working towards conservation of natural resources through collective action of local communities. Experience indicates that the complete lockdown to contain the spread of the disease has resulted in loss of rural incomes. The risk of spread of the virus too has increased with migrants returning to villages.

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Utthan promotes self-sufficient food production areas with internal dependencies, as the pandemic causes disruptions from food to fork.

Reshamben, Manguben and Naseemben, strong women leaders of Vanita Shakti Mahila Sangathan and Ekta Mahila Sangathan, have always argued that government ration shops under the public distribution system should purchase all essential foodgrains from the local area, to the extent possible.

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Watershed work needs to be stepped up to ensure that the lockdown does not impact the livelihoods of the rural poor.

Over the last four decades, watershed management has emerged as one of the most decentralised, integrated, persisting, innovative and effective programs to enhance natural resources such as water, soil and the vegetative cover as well as to provide means of livelihood to marginalised sections in rural areas. However, with life currently in flux and ever changing because of COVID-19, this year watershed management stands in sharp contrast to previous years.

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News this week

Lockdown impact: Health of water bodies improves

According to the experts, the health of the Ganga river along with its tributaries, Yamuna and Hindon, has improved significantly since the enforcement of the nationwide lockdown that has led to reduction in dumping of industrial waste into it.

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News this week

30 districts in Delhi-NCR had contaminated groundwater in 2019: Water Minister

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Overworked, poorly paid and deprived of any rights, migrant cane cutters, especially women are most vulnerable and continue to suffer from a number of health and security risks.

Maharashtra is the second largest sugar producing state in India, after Uttar Pradesh where as high as 1.6 million farmers cultivate sugarcane on 0.7 million hectares of land. The sugarcane industry provides direct employment to about 0.16 million workers while 1.5 million workers engage in sugarcane harvesting and transport operations every year.

While Maharashtra boasts of having the largest cooperative sugar mills in India, private sugar mills are gaining prominence over cooperative mills over the last few years.

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Decentralised groundwater governance frameworks that integrate democratic institutional mechanisms are needed to deal with the current groundwater crisis in India.

The challenges to sustain groundwater dependency in India are many where groundwater over extraction is not only leading to rapid depletion of the resource, but also giving rise to water quality issues in a situation where the response at the level of policy continues to be lukewarm.

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Is the budget a bummer? Experts speak at a panel discussion organised by CBGA.

“Every single number in the budget, be it receipts or expenditure is a lie. The budget numbers can no longer be trusted, as the difference between actual expenditure and budget estimates are off by around 25 percent. The year ends at the end of March, and the estimates are based on data only till the end of December, so the estimate of receipts and expenditure in the next three months is a lie,” says Jayati Ghosh, Professor of Economics at Jawaharlal Nehru University at a panel discussion organised by the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) in New Delhi recently.

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Budget fails to allocate enough to turn the rhetoric of tap water to each household into reality.

Union Finance Minister Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman presented the decade's first union budget in the parliament on 1st February 2020. While presenting budget for 2020-2021, she started with the country’s vision for the decade in which she emphasised on water management and clean rivers as one of the 10 points of vision for the country. The announcement assumes importance in the light of NITI Aayog’s grim estimate that around half of the country’s population or approximately 600 million people face high to extreme water stress.

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The Karnataka Jnana Aayoga (KJA) set up a Task Group to draft a new water policy for Karnataka in December 2017 and the report is now in public domain. What are the suggestions that the report makes?

The water crisis in Karnataka has not only led to severe agrarian distress in the eastern plains region but also created an acute shortage of domestic water, in both rural and urban areas. The 21st century has seen significant changes in demography, economy and agriculture, increasing the demand for water in the state. Expanding irrigation and urbanisation, possibly have also had a negative impact on river basins and water conflicts are seeing a rise in the state. All these developments have substantially complicated and aggravated the water challenges in Karnataka.

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