Published On: Thu, Oct 9th, 2014

Rice cultivation in southern Sindh worsened due to changing climate

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By Hanif Samoon

BADIN, SINDH: Fast changing weather in Badin district affects the main Kharif season crop of lower Sindh, Rice. The per acre yield of rice is badly affected due to the climate change.

During the peak sowing season the terrible water shortage in the irrigation canals and their outlets has badly hit nearly 2 laces acres of land in Badin district, which was set to bring the district under rice cultivation, according to a survey.

Due to the unavailability of the sufficient required quantity of the water to the farmers, the rice cultivation was delayed for more than two months, as rice is usually cultivated in the last weeks of May and in the month of June every year in Badin district and other parts of lower Sindh.

Mr Ghulam Rasool KatIyar, the small grower of command area of Akram Wah canal, who cultivated the crop in the right time told that he had got the average of his rice crop nearly 1 hundred maunds ( 40 kg per acre ) because he was provided with ample water and favorable weather at the right time of the sowing.

Mr Allah Bachayo Rahukro, the leader of Laarr Abadgar Forum and the farmer of Talhar District, when contacted told this scribe that too much delay in the provision of the water in most of the areas of the district, the farmers were likely to sustain huge losses in getting the produce of their main crop.

He claimed that water crises surfaced soon after some of the farmers sowed the rice in May and June destroyed the crop on more than 50 thousand acres of the land forcing them to re -cultivate the same, which he said would be ready for harvesting in the month of November.

Mr Rahukro told that this year hardly 50 to 55 percent growers would be able to get good produce of their commodity mainly due to fast dropping temperature and environmental change, despite using all the available modern techniques including sowing the expensive hybrid seeds, fertilizers, pesticides etc.

He informed that due to reduced monsoon period and fast changing weather, rice crop was being badly affected by the pest attack and the pesticides and insecticides being used to kill many types of bugs have miserably failed to produce any results for the farmers.

Mr Saleh Nohani, the rice grower of Shaheed Fazil Rahu District, which is the biggest rice belt of the area deplored the fact that majority of the farmers of the district would not get the target of their crop firstly owing to delayed cultivation and secondly now the dropping of the temperature and cool sea breeze blowing across, particularly at night time.

Mr Usman Ghani, the leading dealer of rice seeds told TNT that newly introduced seeds from China need hot and humid weather for at least 75 to 80 days till the crop becomes mature for harvesting.

He also blamed the delayed and erratic rainfall this year for expected record low -yield of the crop, as during the rainy days temperature goes up and greatly helps the rice crop grow up .

Mr Ghani also accused the officials of the functionaries of irrigation department for the unfair distribution of the water in the prime time of the sowing in the one biggest rice belts of the country.

Mr Abdul Razzak Rustmani, the deputy director of Agriculture Culture Department Badin, told The Nature News that first terrible water crises delayed the cultivation and now the changing weather would certainly affect the yield.

He admitted that the fact it would be difficult to achieve the target of the rice production in the district. Mr Nabi Bux Sathiyo, the general secretary of Sindh Chamber of the Agriculture talking to this scribe said that fast changing weather in lower Sindh due to the climate change would not affect the rice crop but would delay the cultivation of the rabbi crops.

Mr Sathiyo revealed that by the mid October the season of Rabbi crops would begun in lower Sindh but lands would not be ready for cultivation adding he told that by then hardly 50 percent farmers would be in position to harvest their paddy crop.

He observed that unfair distribution of water, changing weather and the callous attitude of the concerned functionaries of the Agriculture Department for their failure to introduce the new seeds keeping in the view the climate change, would create the grave food security problems in whole Sindh in general and lower Sindh in particular.

He urged all the concerned parties including growers, government functionaries, experts of the climate change and food security to sit together to chalk out the ways to combat the situation, which he claimed was assuming the alarming proportion in the wake of climate change and it’s impacts on the agriculture.

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