Published On: Tue, Sep 22nd, 2015

Good crop in Thar still a far-fetched dream

Asad Ali

MITHI, THARPARKAR: As rains were expected this monsoon, in hope that there would be enough water for a better yield, Indar Singh Thakur, a native of a village in Tharparkar district cultivated his field. He was among hundreds of other farmers who did the same.

However, in a turn of events, rather than a blessing, the rainfall proved to be a curse for a majority of Tharis. While there are doubts of acid rain, during the downpour, there was no sunlight, thus a number of seeds were also wasted and washed away.

According to Bharu Mal, a social worker in Mithi, the rainwater was polluted with poisonous gases and brackish, which affected the cultivation of crops.

“Absence of sunlight and blowing of heavy winds also contributed negatively,” he says.
Indar, who has been witnessing droughts in Tharparkar since at least last three decades, says after initial down-pouring, dry trees did become green and water level in the wells rose; however, fodder for the animals could not be grown – a matter of grave concern.

The Thar Desert is spread along 4.9 million acres of land, out of which cultivation is carried out on 850,000 acres.

District Agriculture Officer Vijay Kumar says rainfall is needed at least three times before and after cultivation for a good crop to yield.

“But there was only one heavy shower this season,” he says.

Due to climate change and less rainfall, the region has faced prolonged droughts, leading to malnutrition and deaths of children and animals ultimately.

Rather than a blessing, the rainfall proved to be a curse for a majority of Tharis

Rather than a blessing, the rainfall proved to be a curse for a majority of Tharis

The Society for Conservation and Protection of Environment (SCOPE) is working on agriculture in Tharparkar district for the last many years. According to its CEO Tanvir Arif, climate change has created problems across the globe and Tharparkar is no exception.

“The government should send metrological experts in the area to determine why despite suffice rains, the people are unable to grow a good crop.”

The Thar Desert is spread along 4.9 million acres of land, out of which cultivation is carried out on 850,000 acre

The Thar Desert is spread along 4.9 million acres of land, out of which cultivation is carried out on 850,000 acre

This article has been published in arrangement with NCEJ as part of its training in Tharpakar on “Reporting impacts of climate change on communities”

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