Farmers battling Climate Change

Climate change is real. We are constantly watching how the weather patterns are changing across the world. In agriculture, the effects of climate change result in lower crop yields and nutritional qualities due to extreme drought or flood or heat waves, which later increase pests and plant diseases. Rising temperatures, heat waves and changes in rainfall (including droughts and floods) are the direct impact of the changing weather pattern. There are various indirect impacts, that includes agricultural land loss, lass groundwater for irrigation, soil fertility and additional financial burdens on the farmers.  

The Community Correspondent (CC) Md. Shah Faisal went to Kishanganj District in Bihar state after an unseasonal and torrential rain in October 2021. He met the farmers and tried to understand the impact of these unseasonal rains on their agricultural produce. 

The heavy rain and the hail storm in Pothia and Thakurganj Blocks have destroyed their farms. The seeds of potatoes were rotten under the soil, also destroying their paddies, bananas, vegetables and tea crops. Rivers were swollen in those areas and in a few places there were massive floods, and people had to take shelter in higher grounds. The rain water seeped everywhere rotting their saved food grains. There is soil erosion on the river banks resulting in loss of agricultural land. The whole area was in a sad state of despair.

The farmers are helpless in front of the brute force of nature. The weather forecast data of Kishanganj shows the changing trend of weather. Government of Bihar is implementing various schemes to help the farmer, they are helping financially to procure the seeds, provide insurance for the crops and also offer grants to buy agricultural equipment and irrigation for the fields. The Government has a provision of buying agricultural produce at a Minimum Support Price (MSP).

Farmers, to combat climate change, need to adapt to a combination of methods, including agricultural innovations, climate-smart agriculture, changes in crop patterns and institutional changes. According to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report: "Climate change impacts are stressing agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and aquaculture, increasingly hindering efforts to meet human needs. Please share this video to show how the Kishanganj farmers and the Bihar Government are negotiating climate change collectively.

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