India is the third largest Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emitter in the world due to its high population. The per-capita GHG emission is only 1.12 tons / person / year as compared to that of US 19.78 tons / person / year. (theguardian, n.d.) However India has committed to reduce emissions intensity by 33-35% by 2030 in the Paris climate summit held in 2015. While Agriculture is the 2nd biggest contributor of GHG in India consisting of 18% of overall emissions employing 50% of workforce. Thus in order to bring down carbon emissions due to agriculture sector there needs to be a change in which we do agriculture.
India is also one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change and agriculture is one of the worst affected sectors due to climatic changes. India has about 60.5% of the geographical land area used for agriculture which is predominantly chemical farming. With advent of modern agriculture which is dependent on mono-cropping and Chemical based farming has many fold disadvantages. Not only are the chemical fertilizers and pesticides made from excessive fossil fuel use but also are detrimental to the beneficial micro-organisms present in soil as it kills them. So not only it is costing heavy on the microorganisms which work for free but it is also heavy on pocket to the farmers. Due to vagaries of nature and increasing climatic changes along with other reasons like unable to pay loans taken for crops / fertilizers / pesticides (Wikipedia , 2018) has led to this sector contributing to over 12000 suicides every year since 2013 (Mahapatra, 2017). Excessive application of chemical fertilizer and pesticide has caused severe health concerns like cancer in farmers as well as consumers.
So then what is the alternative and can we learn from it? Will it work with increasing climatic changes? Exploring this further through an interesting case study of visit to Mr Bhaskar Save’s farm at Dehri Village, Umergam.
*This article is a brief from the case study done for one of the NGO.*Indian census of 2011 indicates 70% of Indians still living in rural areas. Despite all sorts of economic development in the past 2-3 decades, there are still high rates of unemployment about 49 unemployed / 1000 people in urban India and 51 unemployed / 1000 people surveyed in rural India according to (Ministry of labour and employment – GOI, 2016). Often the marginal community suffers the most. What do you hope to find in coastal Indian villages interior to a city? For some it is despair and despair and yet for others it is Despair but hope – hope for better tomorrow.
However there are stories of courage, of people who have risen from nothing to something with their own will power. And this case captures well as to how women empowerment initiatives along with alternative livelihoods and food and nutrition security initiatives for vulnerable women can come as a climate adaptive strategy.
This is story about Khatija –a fisher women, a salt pan labourer who turned to become a community mobiliser and an organic farmer.
It describes her journey to confident living and her vision for not just herself but her fellow women residents, uplifting of community and of her village as well while intacting them against climatic changes and addressing many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
March 21, 2018
Tagged alternative livelihoods, climate change, food and nutrition security, organic farming, resilience, rural development, SDG13, SDG2, SDG5, SDG8, SDT1, Women empowerment
Commemorating Environment Day – 5th June 2017 with Seed ball events
Tree plantation is an easy strategy to cater to climate change mitigation as well as aid in climate change adaptation. In order to cover the vast tracts of barren and degraded lands with relative ease, rather than tree plantation, seed balls are planted or scattered in the vast tracts of land and left to nature to do its regeneration works. This activity is most preferred before arrival of monsoons. Benefit of seed balls scattering over scattering the bare seeds is that the chances of seeds being consumed by rodents or birds or other insects is avoided, also seed balls wont roll away easily or be blown away by winds or flown away by water easily and thirdly they will only germinate when rain has fallen and conditions are favourable for seeds to germinate. Thus if we look at resource efficiency and outcome it makes perfect sense to work on seed balls as chances of germination and making the barren land green are much higher with lesser effort.
A tree plantation drive was organized to commemorate Earth Day 22nd April, Saturday at Amruta Society Park at Rajkot, Gujarat, India. It was citizen driven initiative with support from RMC (Rajkot Municipal Corporation) by way of providing space and plants. The effort was to bring in community building and environment consciousness and action for better and greener environment promoting positive social changes for and by Rajkot citizens under the aegis of Ecology club of Rajkot while making it an active club to host more and all such events for greening our city making it climate resilient in a way.
In the first ever cycling event held by Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC), Rotary Mid town Rajkot Cycling Club (RCC) and others, January 29 2017 would be etched in memory for Rajkot citizens who observed and participated in good numbers. This is a personal account of the cyclothon event participation and its connections to broader climate change, pollution and civic sense issues.