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Farmers in MP Come Up with Ingenious Solutions for Rainwater Harvesting to Address Water Scarcity

Rai said the village was infamous for facing water scarcity

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To do this, he used waste material to channel the water to borewells and dry wells using a pipeline network. Pixabay

In a country that suffers from water scarcity all year, farmers in the villages of Narsinghpur district in Madhya Pradesh have come up with ingenious solutions for rainwater harvesting to address the issue.

While water shortage has been the bane of Salichauka village for long, a local farmer, Manoj Rai, has devised a solution not only to tackle the issue but also to find a way to manage excess rain water and use it to recharge water sources. To do this, he used waste material to channel the water to borewells and dry wells using a pipeline network.

Rai said the village was infamous for facing water scarcity. Such is his understanding of the gravity of the problem that he expounded that the 3rd World War would be fought over water and that several cities like Cape Town and Shimla are already on the verge of a Day-Zero situation.

He added that everyone can come up with their own technique for water harvesting without spending extra money and if every farmer did his bit towards redirecting excess water to recharge the groundwater, the future generations too will have water.

Farmers, MP, Rainwater Harvesting
In a country that suffers from water scarcity all year, farmers in the villages of Narsinghpur district in Madhya Pradesh have come up with ingenious solutions. Pixabay

After Rai’s solution came to the limelight, other farmers also started adopting it and the water level has reportedly risen, the villagers claim. They believe this will help them during the summers too.

A resident of the village Kaluram Patel said he adopted the technique after he saw several other villagers using it.

He said they have witnessed a rise in water level and the tube wells now have water which would help him grow multiple crops in a year.

Similarly, in the rocky terrains of Bilguwa village, it was becoming increasingly difficult for the farmers to procure water for their crops when Monu Pathak, a local farmer, devised a solution to conserve water.

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Pathak said he constructed a model to recharge the groundwater level. He pointed out that it is extremely important to look for methods to save water when half of the country is facing water shortage and the rest facing floods. He also urged the residents of the village to employ such methods in their houses or farms.

Sushil Kumar, a resident of Bilguwa, said the technique employed by Pathak is easy to operate.

He said if every farmer were to utilise rainwater harvesting techniques, the water level would witness a significant rise and would solve the water crisis in the village.

Agricultural scientists claimed that the crops in the region were getting affected by the declining groundwater level and commended the efforts by the farmers to address the water crisis.

Farmers, MP, Rainwater Harvesting
While water shortage has been the bane of Salichauka village for long, a local farmer, Manoj Rai, has devised a solution not only to tackle the issue but also to find a way to manage excess rain water and use it. Pixabay

Rajesh Tripathi, Deputy Director at the district agriculture department, pointed out the irregular pattern of rains that the region has witnessed.

He said that if water is being continuously pumped using tube wells or sprinkler pump, the water sources are going to keep depleting.

If we can find a way for the rainwater to replenish the water table directly, farmers would benefit from it, he said.

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While commending the efforts taken by the farmers of Bilguwa and Salichauka, he added that efforts are being taken to educate the farmers about the importance of adopting such techniques to recharge any water source in their vicinity. (IANS)

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New Reforms and Alternative Markets Likely To Benefit Farmers

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New reforms will benefit farmers who are reeling under the Covid-19 crisis. Pixabay

The Modi government in order to double the income of farmers by 2022 announced a slew of measures last week, and it is widely expected that these reforms will benefit farmers who are reeling under the Covid-19 crisis. Post Coronavirus as state reopens farmers might benefit.

IANS spoke to Ashok Dalwai, chairman of the Committee for Doubling Farmers’ Income, on the issue of strategic reforms initiated by the government and their importance to the farm sector.

He said the alternative market provided to the farmers will give them more earning power. The reforms will unshackle the agriculture value chains by deregulating the essential commodity trade and introducing a Central law to ease inter-state farm trade, effectively overriding the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) mandis that have shown resistance to change in the past.

“We are not ending the APMC, but reforming it. Till now APMC was regulated by the state governments, now the private sector can establish its own APMC which will give an alternative market to farmers,” Dalwai said.

He said the way the telecom sector provided options to the consumers to choose the operators of their choice, in the same way the private AMPC will give farmers the choice to sell their produce at a better price anywhere in India. “The proposed amendment to the Essential Commodities Act of 1955 will ensure seamless movement of farm produce not only inter-state, but also within the state. Anyone having a central license can buy and sell anywhere,” Dalwai said.

Farmers
Ashok Dalwai says Alternative markets might help corona struck farmers. Pixabay

Dalwai said many states have already adopted the reforms and more will join in the future. “The new law related to APMC will be definitely adopted by the state governments and the Centre will provide the framework for inter-state trade of agricultural produce. If a farmer in UP wants to sell his produce to a market in Karnataka, he does not need to go there. He can do so online. The way e-NAM works for APMC mandis, e-platform will work for such farmers.”

He said the amendment to the Essential Commodities Act has been initiated with the sole purpose to provide better prices to the farmers. The government has also decided to free certain categories of agricultural products such as cereals, pulses, oilseeds, onions, and potatoes from the government’s control and lend more predictability to even export policies.

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On the question of challenges due to Covid-19 with regard to doubling farmers’ income, Dalwai said, “The farmers have not been impacted due to the pandemic. There will be no problem in achieving the target of doubling farmers’ income by the year 2022.” (IANS)

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Rs 4,000 Crore Plan for Herbal Cultivation Includes Ganga River Banks, Informs Finance Minister

NMPB will identify 800 hectare of land near the river for the same

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on atomic energy research reactor
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government will provide level playing field for private companies in satellite launches and space-based services. Wikimedia Commons

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday informed that a corridor of medicinal plants would be created on the banks of the Ganga and for this National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB) would identify 800 hectare of land near the river.

It forms an important part of a slew of initiatives announced by the minister towards development of agricultural infrastructure, capacity building, logistics and legislative reforms.

-River_Ganga Finance Minister
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s decision to create a corridor of medicinal plants on the banks of the Ganga is part of the Rs 4,000 crore programme launched for the promotion of herbal cultivation. Wikimedia Commons

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The NMPB has supported 2.25 lakh hectare area under cultivation of medicinal plants. Now, 10,00,000 hectares will be covered under herbal cultivation in next two years with the outlay of Rs 4,000 crore.

The move is expected to lead to Rs 5,000 crore income generation for farmers. It will also develop a network of regional Mandis for medicinal plants. (IANS)

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Mango Growers May Suffer 100% Loss Due to Lockdown: Experts

Mango growers to incur unprecedented losses

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mango growers
Mango growers are likely to suffer huge losses in this season due to the nationwide lockdown amid Covid-19 pandemic. Pixabay

BY AMITA VERMA

Mango growers are likely to suffer huge losses in this season due to the nationwide lockdown amid Covid-19 pandemic. According to experts, if the situation persists, mango growers could suffer almost 100 per cent losses.

“In major mango producing states, including Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh, the situation remains grim,” said Insram Ali, president, Mango Grower Association of India.

He said that in this mango season, not only has the market shrunk but production is also expected to be around only 70 per cent of last year due to untimely rains in northern parts of the country.

Ali said that in Maharashtra, the price of alphonso has dropped by more than half this year.

mango growers
According to experts, if the situation persists, mango growers could suffer almost 100 per cent losses. Pixabay

“The price was around Rs 1,500 per dozen last year but this year, the price is ranging around Rs 400-500 per dozen. Similarly, the export of the mango to the Middle-Eastern countries and Europe has come to a standstill and there is no hope in near future,” he said.

According to him, the country produced around 1 crore 75 lakh metric tonne of mango last year. This year the production is likely to remain close to 1 crore metric tonne. The low production is mainly due to untimely rains and hailstorm in the northern parts of the country, particularly, Uttar Pradesh.

In Uttar Pradesh alone, nearly 25 per cent of mango crop is expected to be lost due to rain and hailstorm. The farmers in this state may lose nearly Rs 3,000 crore while overall mango growers across the country may lose Rs 6,000 crore this season.

Insram Ali stated that due to lockdown, the biggest problem was of labor and transport.

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“Earlier, when the season would start, buyers would buy whole orchard but this season we are not getting buyers for our orchards. The main problem is labor-even the buyers are not getting labor. Also, transportation is not available in required number,” he said.

Insram Ali says that even the government has, so far, not shown any interest in helping the mango farmers. He demanded that the government should intervene and decide a minimum support price for the mango crop. (IANS)