Sharada Balasubramanian
Sharada Balasubramanian is a Coimbatore-based journalist.
May 29, 2017
Balakrishnan Marimuthu dug two farm ponds, with which he grew coconuts to offset paddy loss this year. (Photo by Sharada Balasubramanian)

Farmers in coastal Tamil Nadu battle drought with smart farming

Farmers of Vedaranayam in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu are surviving the current drought by growing diverse crops that suit their soil, despite the failure of the rains and not getting water from the Cauvery River for many years

May 26, 2017
Fellows in rural India need serious handholding to make the effort effective. (Photo by Meghna Mukherjee)

Many fellows but not too many ships to anchor

To make fellowships that connect with rural realities really worthwhile, it is necessary to provide pointed guidance through mentors who are ready to engage, a vital aspect that many of the programs are not addressing adequately

May 24, 2017
A small pump irrigating an onion farm. (Photo by Hamish John Appleby / IWMI)

Small pumps are a viable solution for poor farmers

Although small pumps for irrigation doesn’t get the attention it deserves, evidence from groundwater-rich states such as Assam, Jharkhand and Odisha show that they have significant benefits for small and marginal farmers

May 22, 2017

Small pumps hold promise for smallholder farmers in Jharkhand

Many small and marginal farmers in Lohardaga and Gumla are using tiny pumps to irrigate vegetable fields, an entrepreneurial model that has potential to increase incomes for smallholders since groundwater is abundant in the state