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Forget GM Seeds, Go Organic, And India Will Have A Better Chance At Weathering Climate Change

Bijal Vachharajani

02 Dec 2015

Last month, while the Indian social media was going berserk over the many Khans of Bollywood, a World Bank report about climate change and poverty was published. It contained warnings about a horrible future that is right around the corner, but few paid attention to the concerns outlined in Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty.

According to Shock Waves, by 2030, over 100 million people would have been forced into extreme poverty because of climate change. That’s just 15 years away.

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Adilabad is on the northern tip Of Telangana Stat not affected by the deficit monsoon is likely to emerge as a top cotton trading unit in 2015-2016 given the expectations of a bumper yield, but which has left an adverse impact on almost every cotton growing area in the country.

Addi Ramchander Reddy, a cotton commission agent and market observer in Adilabad said that purchase in the private sector will be far less in quantum as there are no big players left in the market now.

The yield of cotton this year is anticipated to be in the range of 8 quintals to 10 quintals per acre. The area under the crop being over 3.17 lakh hectares, the total produce would be in the vicinity of 70 lakh quintals.

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How deficit rains fill the life of farmers with uncertainty


It was nearly impossible to drive through Raichur district of north Karnataka without being lulled into a trance by the unbroken red soil. A warm wind blew hard and free across the arid landscape, and dust rose above the fields. The fields looked just cleared, or recently sown with seeds. The few saplings that were visible looked young, only ankle high. What seemed like the beginning of the kharif season, however, was its withering end; a dry, uneventful harvest.

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HYDERABAD: Heavy rains in the last two days in several parts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh has wiped out the drought to a considerable extent, bringing cheers to farmers and life to a number of streams and rivulets. 

The rainfall deficit in Telangana on Thursday came down to minus 18 per cent from minus 23 a couple of days ago. In AP, the deficit has been reduced to minus 8 from minus 14 per cent. Many places recorded rainfall of over 100 mm. While farmers in many districts intensified agricultural activity to meet the Khariff target, the rains have also stabilised the standing crops - which otherwise faced termination. 

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Two monsoon scripts: Who’ll get it right?

NEW DELHI: Competing forecasts have injected a new dimension to the hazardous business of monsoon prediction this year, with private weather agency Skymet taking a completely different view of how rains would perform in what are the most crucial four months of the year for India's economy. 

Read Full Story in TOI

Monsoon vanishing: Farmlands drying up, tankers back in city

HYDERABAD: The southwest monsoon has severely weakened over Telangana and parts of Andhra Pradesh - almost getting reduced to isolated, erratic showers. 

Officials from the Met department on Monday predicted a prolonged dry spell in an already parched state. As per Met records, the southern peninsula of the Indian sub-continent has received a measly 9.6 mm of rainfall in the first week of July, against the normal average rainfall count of 49.4 mm in the same period last year. 

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Can we commit suicide? Maharashtra farmers ask government

NAGPUR: In a bizarre development, seven debt-ridden farmers, among them three women, in Maharashtra's Wardha district have sought the administration's "permission" to commit suicide.

"The situation has become so bad that these seven peasants have approached the district officials requesting their green signal to end their lives," said Kishore Tiwari, president of the Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, an NGO working for farmers' rights. 

Kishore Ingale, Bhanudas Wadadkar, Pankaj Gawande, Shankar Khadse, and the women farmers - Kundabai Lonkar, Kamala Warhade and Vasanta Gingavkar - from Wadad village, have been running from pillar to post since January for the aid promised by the Maharashtra government, he said. 

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Continuing the momentum generated by the Training program and the Seed Festival, Chetna Organic, under the guardianship of FFID (Forum for Integrated Development) announced the launch of its ‘Sustainable Farms, Sustainable Futures’ on April 10, 2015. The project is being supported by the UK based Big Lottery Fund and Traidcraft. On the occasion, a ‘Project Launching Workshop’ was organized in Bhavanipatna with staff from Traidcraft, FFID/Chetna Program Management Staff and Field staff of the project to orient the team about the scope of the program.

This organic cotton/sustainable agriculture intervention program targets to reach out to 4000 small farmers (including 60% women) in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts of Odisha to adopt organic/sustainable agricultural practices over a period of five years. Right from pre-season trainings, to mid -season technical support to post harvest certification and marketing effort, the program promises to provide an end-to-end capacity building support to organic cotton farmers offering them access to international markets while also insulating them from wildly fluctuating prices and volatility of international markets.

The ‘Sustainable Farms, Sustainable Futures’ project replaces the about- to- conclude ‘Organic and Fairtrade Cotton Intervention Program’ (2008-2015) as FFID-Chetna’s flagship project, that supported more than 15,000 cotton farmers derive benefits from organic and fairtrade farming practices over a seven year period.



Seed Festival 2015 On April 9, 2015, the six – day training program on organic concepts culminated in the Seed Mela organised by Chetna Organic to facilitate exchange of desi seeds and Seed conservation practices among communities. Nearly 400 farmers, mostly women(95%) groups from small villages in Bhavanipatna, Lanjigarh, Muniguda and Kantabanji blocks in Odisha and tribal belts in Adilabad district of Telangana enthusiastically participated in the festivals by putting up stalls where they exhibited and exchanged the desi seed varieties that grow in their region. Local NGOs like RCDC and Madhyam who also work on seed conservation exhibited the seeds they conserve. The festival saw the active participation of seed guardians and seed custodians who operate the nine seed banks in Kalahandi and Rayagada in Odisha, under the Chetna Organic Seed Guardians program supported by Textile Exchange and Inditex Government officials, seed conservation activists were also invited to the festival to to reinforce the significance of local seed conservation. While students of the organic training program received their course completion certificates at the festival, some farmers were also awarded a certificate of recognition as model farmers for following best practices in organic farming. The groups also received a certificate of participation in the Seed Mela as recognition of their efforts as seed conservators. All in all, the event facilitated the exchange of atleast 500-600 varieties of seeds. The Chetna Organic Seed Mela as an annual event is made possible with the support of its partners like Felissimo, Textile Exchange, Inditex, GSRD, Solidaridad and ICCO.




A six - day long training program ‘Organic Farming for Beginners’ was conducted in Bhavanipatna, Kalahandi district, Odisha between March 4-9,2015 young people to build them as core facilitators, para- professionals of organic farming in Chetna Organic clusters.

Organised at the at SVA training hall in Bhawanipatna, the training was attended by 20 Students (11boys and 9 girls) and spanned over 6 sessions of conceptual, manual and technical inputs. Practical demonstrations were carried out at the Chetna Organic Eco centre at Martubhoomi Cooperative in Mading, Bhavanipatna. The assignments on data collection of farmers and seed collection were organized in the three villages of Poria, Tentulipada and Bhimdonga of Bhawanipatna cluster. The course curriculum was specially designed keeping in view the various challenges faced by farmers and farmers groups in the field and is aimed at helping them intensify their organic agricultural production.

The fully residential course covered the concepts of Institution Building (Groups/Coops/Producer cos), Organic Certification Processes, Marketing of Organic Produce, Integrated Organic Farming Systems, Soils & Soil Fertility Management, Water Conservation & Management, Seeds, Crop Varieties, Conservation, Plant Protection – The organic approach, Post Harvesting Technology, Livelihoods (On farm, Off farm, Entrepreneurship) All trainees hail from rural backgrounds and aspire to become active practitioners and promoters of organic farming in the near future. The Organic training program is being offered by Chetna Organic under the Peace by Peace Cotton program being supported by Felissimo Corporation, Japan and co- supported by G Star, GSRD, Solidaridad and and ICCO foundations.


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