Climatic changes hit farming in coastal Orissa

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Rise in temperature and sea level has made agriculture vulnerable as seawater is more often gushing into the paddy fields with saline water

Submitted on 02/06/2012 – 09:50:23 AM

Bhubaneswar: Agriculture across the coast of Orissa is now facing a situation of climate emergency, threatening food security in such areas where climate change has been a phenomenon.

Rise in temperature and sea level has made agriculture vulnerable as seawater is more often gushing into the land filling paddy fields with saline water.

“The sea is crossing the embankment more often and damaging our crops by filling the land with saline water”, a farmer in Udaykani village in Puri District laments.

Because agriculture is almost regularly hit by tidal waves and floods, food security of these people has been threatened as they have no other option to earn a livelihood and feed the family.

With no other option, the farmers work hard to grow paddy every year with a hope that this year would go well for them. However, their hope never sustain as the gushing seawater combined with erratic rain often destroys their crop.

“The saline water has become a threat to us. Every year it is betraying us. We lose our crop. As there is no alternate livelihood option available at this place, we are forced to starve”, says Dhabaleswar of Chhenu Village in Puri district.

While these people seriously look for an alternate option, scientists are advising the farmers to go for crop diversification as an adaptability measure.

Realising that agriculture is being worst affected by climate change, an Agronomist at Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) in Jagatsinghpur district of Orissa, says, “We are asking the farmers to go for crops that can sustain against the impacts of climate change”.

Changing climate pattern is not only affecting agriculture in coastal villages, the farmers living in forest areas are also facing the wrath of climate change. Rain pattern has also changed drastically in the forest areas during the last years

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