Category Field Notes

Can Agriculture be more Climate Friendly? Measuring the impact of sustainable agricultural practices on greenhouse gas emissions

By WOTR’s Agriculture Team According to the Gaia theory, earth’s physical and biological processes are linked to form a self-regulating and self-aware system. The regulating processes are often slow and continue over decades or even centuries. With the increasing human interventions; appropriation of most of the natural resources in a hasty manner to fulfill the need […]

Dhavalpuri Bazaar

In Rural India, bazaars are still a grand weekly event, where makeshift stalls appear on the roadside for the day. It is an amalgamation of culture, emotions and colours. Apart from selling a variety of products ranging from vegetables to clothes, from livestock to sweetmeats, these are places where people meet, catch up, and network with each other.
This photo essay showcases some glimpses captured from our visit to the weekly bazaar at Dhavalpuri.

Enterprising agriculturalist 2: Entrepreneurship and Employment in a village in Western Maharashtra

In Maharashtra, agriculture serves as a major source of rural livelihood. This sector is most vulnerable to climate change, as it is highly dependent on weather, and the vagaries of the climate. Given this uncertainty people are continually modifying their agricultural practices to suit their specific needs, available knowledge and resources. In this blog, following our earlier blog on pomegranate cultivation, we turn to a village in Jalna called Hivre Korda that has diversified its economy in response to changes in aspiration and agrarian distress. We visited this village and conducted group discussions with different landholding farmers like large, medium, small and landless for one of our studies.

GROUNDWATER-A DISTURBING DIP

As many parts of Maharashtra continue to be inundated with rain it is easy to forget that at this time last year much of the state was reeling under drought. While the rains this year will recharge groundwater tables, given current groundwater usage patterns it is unlikely that this water would contribute to help farmers tide over the next. KV Maitreyi looks at the root causes of water scarcity and what the state is doing to overcome it

THE VILLAGES OF THE OLD: A STORY OF SELF-AUGMENTING MIGRATION AND RE-MIGRATION PATTERN

Perched in the remote areas of Koyna backwaters and the buffer zone of Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary are a few villages which have been following a strange pattern of life for sixty years now. Being one of the highest rainfall receiving areas of Maharashtra, water scarcity is not a problem that bothers the farmers here. Yet, a huge number of young people migrate each year to faraway cities for work and livelihood, only to come back in their ripe years to pursue agriculture. This blog post traces the path of this migration right from when it triggered to the present day scenario and reflects on its impacts on the surrounding environment and the local social fabric.

Enterprising Agriculturalists: Insights into agrarian prosperity from women’s perspectives

Located on the bank of the river Mula that flows through the Sangamner taluka, Borban is a small, prosperous village with the population of 600 persons. The majority of the village is engaged in agriculture and more than 95 percent of the farmers in the village belong to the small and marginal landholding category. While Borban has without a doubt benefitted from its rich resource endowment, one must also recognize the role that agricultural entrepreneurship has played. Further taking a gender perspective allows us to peel back the veneer of prosperity and ask whether indeed all is well in Borban?

Natural Springs in the Western Ghats – a vital natural resource, but completely neglected

In the Western Ghats, natural springs are a source of drinking water for many vulnerable rural communities. The springs serve as an essential component for the functioning of our forest cover and dependent ecosystem, yet their conservation is a completely neglected affair. Neither the Maharashtra state policy nor our national policy framework for natural resource management address this issue. There is an urgent need for a paradigm shift from source exploitation to resources management, especially in lieu of climate change. In this post we take a look at springs located in the hilly regions of Akole and Sangamner in Ahmdednagar district. Spring sources that we have surveyed are on a declining trend (both in terms of numbers and discharge), wherein some of the perennial springs have dried up or have been encroached upon, contaminated or destroyed – making it a serious issue for water resource management.

A GLANCE AT THE PARCHED VILLAGES OF MARATHWADA: Using WOTR’s Co-DriVE approach to understand community vulnerability

Drought has been a common phenomenon in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra. In recent decades changes in agricultural patterns and intensified resource use has eroded the capacity of communities to cope with these crisis. This post attempts to capture these changes and understand vulnerabilities from a community perspective using the tool- CoDriVE-PD.

The Micropolitics of Water Scarcity: local barriers and enablers to groundwater management

In Maharashtra, water scarcity has emerged as the crisis of our times. In many of the worst affected districts it has become a public order issue and the state authorities devote vast resources for providing drinking water. While consecutive droughts are the proximate cause of the crisis, the widespread unregulated exploitation of groundwater is a major underlying cause. While Maharashtra has attempted to regulate groundwater through legislation, implementation of the same remains a challenge. This post takes a look at the challenges for managing groundwater resources at the local level and how aspects of legislation and policy unfold on the ground.