Smallholders cultivating Millets to make their food production climate resilient

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Read full article in Caritas India Photo Credit: Caritas India

Crop production is highly influenced by the sensitivity of crops to variations in climate and can have major implications for food supply. The effects of climate change are increasing, where extreme rainfall events have become more frequent and variable. There has also been an increase in the severity and frequency of drought and uneven distribution of rainfall and rising temperatures impact adversely on the small farm produces. Thus, developing measures to safeguard crop productions against these stresses is a critical aspect of climate change adaptation.

Ratna Adiwasi, belonging to a family of small farmers that for generations has been growing Black Gram and Wheat trusting on the monsoon rains. And few other smallholders in this semi-arid region has started shifting towards growing millet and gradually freeing themselves from the vagaries of weather. The prolonged dry spell and sudden heavy rainfall, smallholder farmers are forced to leave irrigation intensive crops to protect their crop damage.

This year, concurrent rain in Madhya Pradesh has created havoc in the operational areas of SAFBIN (i.e. Sagar and Vidisha districts). The rain continued for more than 15 days concurrently and lash off the entire agricultural farms of smallholders. The average rainfall was more than 2500mm in that week which was much higher than the average rainfall (i.e. 1197.6mm) of Sagar. This was the highest estimated rainfall in 43 years. Most of the smallholders lost their major crops due to this uncertain heavy rainfall leaving behind their life to a standstill.


Posted on

October 28, 2019

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