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The government’s nutrient-based subsidy has done more harm to the soil than good. Only sustainable agriculture can save the nutrient and water holding capacity of the soil.

Bhanu is bracing herself for an income loss this year. The wheat she sowed after bajra in winter did not give her the productivity expected. Her soil health is declining, she says. To top it all, she is afraid there will be deficient rainfall this year in her village in Ferozepur Jhirka in Mewat in Haryana. A semi-arid water scarce region with very low annual rainfall of about 300-550 mm, increasing the productivity of crops in her land looks bleak this year.

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A short film provides insight into the water sector situation in the Marathwada region in Maharashtra.

The people of the Marathwada region have been facing severe water crisis for more than three decades. Despite adverse circumstances, the Akoladev panchayat in the Jalna district has set an example for other panchayats by solving their water woes through community participation and effective water harvesting measures that suit their geographic terrain.

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The economic condition of farmers is getting progressively worse resulting in increasing number of farmer suicides. Here's a look at possible solutions.

The year 2009 was an exceptionally dry year for Maharashtra. There was an acute shortage of water. The farmlands went dry. The farmers, unable to pay their debts, were a worried lot. Lakshman Ambilkar of Kinni village in the Yavatmal district of Maharashtra was one such farmer who could not take it anymore. He killed himself, leaving a young, distraught wife to fend for herself. Needless to say, his wife Jaishree Ambilkar’s life shattered and her financial condition deteriorated drastically. The little financial support provided by the government was just not enough.

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News this week

Oil spill in Ennore has highly impacted the zone between Ennore and Marina beach

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As the TN farmers’ protest in Delhi enters its fourth week, all eyes are on the Centre which is not budging.

A woman stands with a begging bowl and a placard strung around her neck. An old man shuffles along barefoot in the street at Jantar Mantar, the official site of a farmers’ protest in the heart of New Delhi. He finds his way through a group of farmers gathered at the protest site on a hot summer afternoon. Dressed in green loincloths, they are lying motionless on the road and the footpath exhausted after their meetings with the deputy speaker of Lok Sabha M.

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Policy matters this week

Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu governments waive off farm loans

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Arunachal’s Etalin and J&K’s Sawalkote hydel projects get clearance

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How the Doha model of groundwater recharge saved the livelihoods of farmers in Maharashtra.

There was a time when the farmers of Yavatmal district depended completely on rainfed agriculture. That was before the introduction of Doha, a water harvesting structure by NGO Dilasa Sansthan in 2014. Farming changed drastically after that, something which Sitaram Kove, a 40-year-old farmer of Rajini village in the district, will vouch for. Once a distressed farmer like many in Vidarbha and Marathwada, he is now content with the productivity of his six-acre-farm that has doubled since the introduction of Doha.

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Debal Deb has conserved 1,200 climate resilient rice varieties. He speaks on the need to conserve traditional seeds and why we don’t need genetically modified ones.

Farming can’t be sustainable without the seeds which are best suited to the location, water availability, soil type and weather. According to records, there were 1.10 lakh varieties of rice in India till 1965. After that, the Green Revolution happened, which pushed for hybrid varieties. Today, according to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, we have less than 7,000 traditional rice varieties.

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Budget 2017-18: Which social sector schemes and ministries got major shares of the pie? An analysis.

The much-anticipated budget this year treads largely on the path set last year with the rural sector receiving more allocation than its urban counterpart. On the surface, the budget indicates an increase in rural spending under the rural employment guarantee, sanitation, water resources and agriculture sectors and an unchanged outlay in drinking water despite its significance.

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