WATER WISE
Down To Earth|February 01, 2021
FARMERS IN A TAMIL NADU VILLAGE WERE ABLE TO MITIGATE CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS BY BUDGETING WATER AND DIVERSIFYING CROPS
K GIREESAN

AGRICULTURE HAS become one of the most vulnerable sectors to the impacts of climate change. India is no exception. Any negative variation affects the country’s food and nutrition security, especially for the poor. A large segment of our cultivators are small and marginal farmers who have a low level of literacy, large families, poor financial stability, inadequate technical guidance and less scope for credit and financial support. They are also affected by the unpredictable and varying rainfall, degenerating soil quality, drought, reluctance to switch over to alternative crops, high dependence on informal sources of finance, poor storage facilities and a very low bargaining capacity. Therefore, it is not easy for farmers to easily adapt to the growing impacts of climate change.

Since climate change impacts are felt at multiple levels, the response also needs to be made at multiple levels—with strategic interventions at each level. A crucial intervention is related to water budgeting, which is the process of judiciously rationing water for humans, livestock, agriculture and industries in the context of climate change and water scarcity. It ensures optimum and efficient use of water.

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