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Every drought is an opportunity’

Last modified March 31, 2016 09:15

Free Press Journal. Mumbai, 30 March 2016

“Drought is not new to Maharashtra. There have been 23 droughts since 1871 and the droughts of 1972 and 1987 are considered to be the worst in past 50 years. In ’72 food and employment were the cause of panic, in ’87 fodder was the cause of concern and fodder camps was an instant answer. This year the cause is acute scarcity of water,” said Dr. Bhaskar Gaikwad, an agro scientist from Ahmadnagar. Gaikwad feels that everybody should treat the drought as an opportunity to rectify the mistakes that have made the water situation in the state worse. “Rising population is bound put stress on our resources. We need to start managing them smartly.

In 1951 the average annual per capita availability of water in the country, was 3450 cubic meters. In 2001 it reduced to 1816 cubic meters and further decreased to 1545 cubic meters as per the 2011 census,” Dr. Gaikwad said. He throws in a word of caution at the future projections which show that the level would fall to mere 760 cubic meters by 2030 while the per capita need is expected to rise to around 1700 cubic meters annually. Promoting micro irrigation, integrated farming instead of relying entirely on a single crop are some of the measures that will have to be implemented if we want the agriculture in the state to be sustainable, Dr. Gaikwad says and insists that everybody including policy makers should treat the drought as an opportunity and give a thought to undo past mistakes.

Source: Agriculture Today, AgriNews, <sanjay.km15@gmail.com>

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