From parched land to green oasis

by Raju Vernekar

While incidents of farmers committing suicides due to indebtedness, following crop failures and low yield continue to occur in some part of the country or another, a farmer from Hingoli district in parched Marathwada region in Maharashtra has set a novel example of success through sustainable and diversified organic agriculture.

Often called the epicentre of India’s agrarian crisis, farmers in Marathwada’s dry region have been killing themselves over wilted crops and intolerable debts. Erratic rainfall and rising temperatures due to climate change have only added to this distressing scenario.

The plight of small and marginal farmers is even worse. Farmers in this parched land continue to cultivate water-guzzling soybean, cotton and sugarcane, and when landholdings are less than five acres, they have no fallback at all if the crop fails.

However the 63 year old Rameshwar Kishanrao Mandge, a farmer from Belwadi, located at about 14 kms,....

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