Time to Act

Published on: 15:49PM Aug 06, 2009

May is a month of heat and hope in the vast plains of India. Temperatures soar well over 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), but the knowledge that rain clouds must gather over the Indian Ocean makes parched throats bearable. I was glad to see that the farmers of Kachariya  in the Varanasi District had used organic fertilizers to raise vigorous nurseries.


Traders use news of droughts to hoard grains in inhumane bids to make big bucks out of widespread misery. That is why the government fights shy of admitting that a monsoon is less than what we would all like. India spent all of June and July hoping desperately that weak rains would give way to adequate precipitation in due course. The administration has worked hard behind the scenes to conserve grain stocks, but every arid day of August is bad news that will not go away.

Perhaps late-August and September will witness bounteous rain. We also have a North East monsoon scheduled for the last quarter of the calendar. However, the adage about preparing for the worst makes sound sense at this time. Here is a 5-point action plan that I would like to communicate to all my farmer-friends:

  1. Invest in a drip-irrigation system
  2. Save on fertilizer costs by converting all organic waste
  3. Substitute expensive patented pesticides with economical generics
  4. Allot land to medicinal plants that thrive in arid conditions
  5. Establish an apiary


Do you have experience with surviving water scarcity? I need fresh ideas on how to manage without either irrigation or adequate precipitation. We have more than 15 languages here, to say nothing about dialects. However, I will arrange to translate valuable ideas in to every applicable tongue.