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Crop diversification for livelihood security and resilience to climate variability

 

   

 

 

Village level seed banks to combat seed shortages

In scarce rainfall zones of India, practice of sole cropping is predominant but is risky and often results in low yields or sometimes even in crop failure due to erratic monsoon rainfall and skewed distribution. In such areas intercropping is a feasible option to minimize risk in crop production, ensure reasonable returns at least from the intercrop and also improve soil fertility with a legume intercrop.



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Improving the resilience of poor farmers reclaiming cultivable wastelands

Cultivable wastelands located in the fringe areas of the forests are not cultivated regularly despite being fertile. Besides, the undulated lands require leveling and bunding. Poor farmers lack the investment required to make these lands cultivable. A few enterprising farmers now and then broadcast seeds of horse gram or redgram and harvest some grains depending on the season. Most households continue to remain poor despite owning fertile land. Some farmers cultivate these lands for a while and abandon cultivation after the bunds disappear due to runoff erosion.

 

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Seed shortage of suitable crop varieties is an important limitation faced by farmers to implement contingency crop plans to tackle aberrant rainfall situations. In vulnerable areas, farmers tend to dispose-off the entire produce as grain and therefore depend on external sources for seed supply in the next season. In crops where the seed multiplication ratio is low, seed rate and seed cost is high


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Flood tolerant varieties impart resilience to farmers in flood-prone areas

Flooding is a major challenge for rice production in the country. Heavy and intense rainfall events cause flash floods due to overflow of rivers and canals or sometimes tidal movements in coastal areas. Continuous high rainfall in a short span leading to water logging and heavy rainfall with high speed winds in a short span due to cyclonic storms cause inundation of paddy fields and lodging of the crop at grain filling and maturity stages causing huge losses to the farmer.


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