Rainfed Agriculture

Featured Articles
December 13, 2019 A study highlights the need to scale down the export of rice, maize, buffalo meat and other items to conserve groundwater in India.
A farmer uses a hosepipe to irrigate crops at her farm in Nilgiris mountains, Tamil Nadu (Image: Hamish John Appleby for IWMI, Flickr Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
December 11, 2019 A study calls for solutions that can benefit farmers and the environment and positively impact India's nutrition indicators.
Rice field in Karnataka (Image: Guldem Ustun, Flickr Commons, CC BY 2.0)
October 25, 2019 Groundwater use has doubled in Pune. Comprehensive mapping of groundwater resources and better management and governance is the need of the hour.
Groundwater, an exploited resource (Image Source: India Water Portal)
October 24, 2019 An intern with Watershed Organisation Trust narrates his field experience from the villages of Madhya Pradesh, where farmers are using farm ponds to conserve water.
A farm pond constructed by Sheshrao Dhurve in Karaghat Kamti village of Madhya Pradesh
October 21, 2019 In this interview, Joy talks about his work as an activist working in rural Maharashtra, and how he came to work on water conflicts in India.
KJ Joy speaks at a felicitation for the late Professor Ramaswamy Iyer.
Not in the interest of women farmers!
The new farm related bills will spell doom for women workers who form the bulk of small and marginal sections of Indian agriculture, warns Mahila Kisan Adhikaar Manch (MAKAAM). Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 7 months ago

Three farm-related Bills were recently passed in the Parliament by the BJP led government at the Center, which have subsequently received presidential assent.

Farm women, overworked and underpaid (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Who is the thirstiest of them all?
A study evaluating the water use efficiency of sugarcane, curry banana and paddy among borewell irrigating farmers finds paddy to be the most inefficient and thirstiest of the three. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 7 months 2 weeks ago

Agriculture uses as high as 85 percent of the available water in India of which the irrigated area accounts for nearly 48.8 percent of the 140 million hectare (mha) of agricultural land, while the remaining 51.2 percent is rainfed.

Paddy, a thirsty crop (Image Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Farm ponds need pondering
While farm ponds have often been depicted as magic wands to deal with water scarcity, experiences in Maharashtra show otherwise. Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 7 months 3 weeks ago

Agriculture and inefficient water use in India

Farm ponds, often touted as magic wands to tackle water scarcity, have raised a number of concerns (Image Source: Ninad Sargar)
Agriculture and food security challenges amid Covid-19
The pandemic has bared our vulnerabilities and shaken our collective consciousness to focus on agriculture and rural economy. Amita Bhaduri posted 8 months ago

India has seen large scale rural-urban migration of people trying to escape rural distress in the last few decades.

Women farmers produce vegetables through innovative farming practices in Banka, Bihar. They can sell their produce at regional markets, and earn a better income for their families. (Image: USAID, Flickr Commons, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Nashik civic body frees Godavari using riverfront development funds
News this week Swati Bansal posted 8 months ago

A civic body frees a river instead of concretising it, for the first time

Godavari river (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Amphan’s impact on farming and livelihood in Sunderbans
Millions of people's homes were swept away and farmlands destroyed during cyclone Amphan in Sunderbans. Amita Bhaduri posted 8 months 4 weeks ago

The Amphan cyclone has disfigured the lives of people living in the Sundarbans. Houses have been torn apart, farms have been filled with brackish water making the land unsuitable for farming and betel leaves have been destroyed. People in the Sundarbans are in a life-threatening situation with makeshift shacks to live in and no means to earn a living.

Betel (popularly used in paan) plantation is a major occupation in the Sundarbans. Pulak Bhakta is assessing the damage done to his plantation right after Amphan. The plantation is spread over two and a half bigha of land. According to Pulak, the total loss he has suffered is around INR 3 lakhs. Pulak already bears the burden of a loan which he had taken to set up his plantation. His future seems uncertain and bleak now. (Image: WaterAid/ Subhrajit Sen)
Bihar and northeast India reel under floods, Assam worst hit
News this week Swati Bansal posted 9 months 3 weeks ago

Flood batters three northeast states, Assam worst affected

People take a boat to cross the flood-ravaged Brahmaputra (Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Tank desiltation scheme in Maharashtra: Policy concerns and way forward
Maharashtra has been implementing the Gaalmukt Dharan, Gaalyukt Shivar Yojana (GDGS) scheme since 2017. How has it fared and what needs to be done to improve it further? Aarti Kelkar Khambete posted 10 months ago

Tank systems of India

Desiltation activities undertaken under the GDGS in Maharahstra (Image Source: NASHIKONWEB.COM)
Surviving in uncertainty
Gram Vikas stepped up to ensure access to adequate food and to strengthen dignified income-earning opportunities for the most vulnerable households. Amita Bhaduri posted 10 months ago

Uncertainty - the pervasive feeling that all of us have been living with from the middle of March 2020. It's the same in our partner villages in Odisha and Jharkhand. Communities we work with have been facing and overcoming uncertainties all through their lives. But this time, the crisis has put unusual stress on their abilities to cope.

Image: Ajaya Behera
Boosting rural livelihoods using agriculture and MGNREGA amidst Covid-19
Strengthening farm and non-farm livelihoods can pave the way for food and nutritional security. Amita Bhaduri posted 10 months 1 week ago

As the Covid-19 pandemic was leaving deep scars around the globe, it forced governments to take measures to protect citizens and ensure food security for its people. In India, initially, it looked as if the remote rural areas would skirt the pandemic.

MGNREGA can play an important role in integration of migrant labour in the rural economy (Image: Ashutosh Nanda)