IMPHAL, August 5: At a time when the central government is focusing on increasing the incomes of the country’s farmers, farmers in Manipur face great challenges to maintain a conventional form of farming practice in a monsoon context erratic.
According to data received from the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Lamphelpat, the state recorded this year a rainfall difference of -48.44% in January, -80.67% in February, -26.84% in March, -55.41% in April. , -31.62% in May, -12.99% in June, -8.41% in July and 23.10% in August.
With the insufficient and changing pattern of monsoon rainfall, farmers are forced to spend more money to meet the needs of agriculture, especially in the management of irrigation water.
Moirangthem Manimohon, a tenant farmer from Pourabi Awang Leikai in Imphal East has argued that farming can no longer be maintained as a profitable occupation in the state.
Claiming that he had barely succeeded in spreading rice seeds despite very scarce water in his rice fields, Manimohon claimed that he had so far spent around Rs 20,000 per sangam in his rice field, which he said , is relatively higher than the amount committed last year.
“Apart from the soaring fuel price which triggers considerably higher plowing costs this farming season, farmers were spending huge sums on irrigation water management, weed cleaning and supply. fertilizer, ”he said.
While expressing their dissatisfaction with the current state of his crops, the sharecroppers expressed concern that he could go into debt this season if he cedes his share of the yield from his rice paddy owner as usual.
K London, another farmer from the same village, claimed that the traditional / conventional form of agriculture that relies solely on the monsoon has been quite vulnerable to the erratic monsoon that has taken place in recent years.
Claiming that farmers face the recurring problems of water scarcity, followed by fertilizer shortage and flooding of paddy fields almost every year, he lamented that the value of the yield received at the end of a harvest season was almost identical to the total amount committed. in the whole process of agriculture.
He said that many farmers like him in the Purabi region are now worried about whether their crops will yield a lot of harvest this season, as the lack of water in the paddy fields has caused the delay and infestation of many cultures in and around the village.
On the other hand, Nongthombam Gulapi, a 72-year-old farmer from the same village claimed that the deterioration of the source of the irrigation facilities in and around Purabi has greatly disrupted agriculture.
He said some of the waterways (ishing khong / loukhong) that were used to provide irrigation facilities in the Purabi area have become very shallow and narrow due to the encroachment.
The old farmer regretted that the water shortage in the village’s rice fields could have been alleviated to a large extent if the irrigation waterway (loukhong) from Huidrom to Purabi was functional.
Making views and estimates similar to Gulapi’s, London claimed that as part of environmental conservation, a local committee set up by a group of dynamic youth and villagers in Pourabi has now limited deforestation in the hills of Chengba Makou.
Meanwhile, NIT, the head of Langol’s civil engineering department, Dr Ngangbam Romeji, pointed out that Manipur, which is part of the Himalayan region of India (IHR), has seen stochastic and indeterminate changes in hydrosphere and monsoon patterns.
He said the rich hydroclimatic region of the Himalayan region of Manipur and North East India (RHI) was shrinking and becoming fragile in its environment with the unprecedented climatic variations over the past two to three decades, causing floods, droughts, devastating landslides, etc.
Informing that this RSI part of Manipur occupies 4.18% of the Indian Himalayan region, the professor argued that the region has a large variation in temperature regime that varies from 15 ° C to 32 ° C in summer and from 0 to 26 ° C in winter.
He said a research study deploying a diagnostic atmospheric model to estimate the amount of recycled precipitation suggests that about 7% of the total precipitation that was contributed by local moisture recycling decreased by about 30 to 50 mm.
He indicated that a grid of observed precipitation and sea surface temperature data for the last 114 years (1901-2014) also indicated that the declining trend in summer monsoon precipitation is rather associated with the high inter-decadal variability from the subtropical Pacific Ocean to Manipur – NE RSI.
The professor further observed that the high inter-decadal variability in the region predicted a possible decadal prediction of monsoon development and precipitation. He added that all of these factors disrupted orographic distributions and the formation or dissipation of rain-bearing clouds. The professor noted that there is a marked decline in forest and plant cover from 16,505.98 square kilometers in 2011 to 15,890.24 square kilometers in 2019. ”he said.
(This article was written under the Climate Change Reporting Media Fellowship of the Environment and Climate Change Directorate, Manipur)
Erratic monsoon poses serious challenges for farmers – the Sangai Express