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How climate change is affecting lives of farmers in Bihar?

seemanchal farmers battling weather

These days the paddy farmers of Araria district of Bihar are very upset due to lack of rainfall in the Monsoon season.

Ashok Yadav of Rahariya village in Bhaggama block under Araria district told Main Media that he has been waiting for rain for a week, but it has not rained, so now he is sowing paddy in the field by pouring water from a diesel pump.

It used to rain well every time, but this year it is not so. The fields are dry, so water is being pumped into the fields. If farmers keep waiting for rain, it will be too late.

Due to lack of rain, the cost of sowing paddy for the farmers will increase by 5 thousand per bigha this time.

Due to less water, the quality of paddy yield will also decrease, due to which farmers will get much lower prices for their crops.

This problem is not only of one farmer but of all the farmers of Seemanchal. In the first week of July, there has been little rain here. Due to this the sowing of paddy has been badly affected.

Here the farmers are also not getting electricity properly, due to which they have to use diesel powered pumps. Farmers wait for electricity throughout the night to water the fields, there is electricity for 6-7 hours in the night.

Parameshwari Yadav says that “the weather has changed a lot in recent years.

Farmers are planting BB11 species of paddy here, its plants are not affected by the storm.

This year Monsoon rains have been unusual in Seemanchal. Some districts have received less rain and some districts have received more rain.

According to the data received from the Indian Meteorological Department, Araria district should receive 542.6 mm of rain from June 1 to July 17, but this time it has received 666.2 mm of rain, which is 23 percent more than normal.

Katihar district should have received 424 mm of rainfall as a normal from June 1 to July 17, but till now it has received only 151 mm, which is 64 percent less than normal. Kishanganj district should have received 712 mm of rain from June 1 to July 17, but this time 880 mm of rain has been recorded, which is 24 percent more than the normal. Similarly, Purnia should have received 562.5 mm of rain during this period, but this time it has received only 360 mm, which is 36 percent less than the normal.

Araria District Agriculture Officer Sanjay Kumar told ‘Main Media’, “This time a target of cultivation of paddy has been set in one lakh 9996 hectares, out of which 50.58 percent target has been achieved. But, due to lack of rain, many farmers are facing a lot of difficulty in sowing of paddy.”

Experts say that the best season for sowing paddy is over and even if it rains now and farmers plant paddy, then good production will not be possible.

In view of the changing pace of monsoon, it is necessary to encourage the farmers to take up farming according to the changing climate.

Last year, the central government had selected 10 districts of Bihar for climate resilient farming. These include Darbhanga, East Champaran, West Champaran, Siwan, Saharsa, Lakhisarai, Kishanganj, Bhagalpur, Nalanda and Sitamarhi.

Three villages of Kishanganj district Khanabari, Kharsel and Govindpur have been included in this project. Manoj Kumar Rai, Head and Senior Scientist, Kishanganj Krishi Vigyan Kendra, told ‘Main Media’, “In these three villages, we will see how much farmers get benefit from this climate friendly crop. Climate friendly farming will be done on a pilot basis for the next 4-5 years. After this it will be used in other villages.”

These three villages are more prone to floods, so these villages have been selected so that seasonal farming can be done in the flood affected areas.

However, it is expected to be implemented in the rest of the villages only after doing this pilot farming for 4-5 years. Till then farmers will have to battle with the weather.

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