Livelihoods

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 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
Farmers preparing a small field to grow vegetables in Jharkhand. (Photo by Bikalp Chamola)

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

May 19, 2017
Vishwajit Akre of Ranwadi village at his pomegranate farm near Wardha. (Photo by Hiren Kumar Bose)

Pomegranate spells profits for Maharashtra farmers

The consistently high returns from growing pomegranates in Maharashtra, the epicenter of the fruit’s production in India, have seen many farmers adopt it over water-guzzling crops such as sugarcane and cotton

May 17, 2017
Internet Saathis are spreading the benefits of the World Wide Web in rural Assam. (Photo by Abdul Gani)

Empowering rural women in Assam through the Internet

Women trained in the use of the Internet are fanning across four districts of Assam to bring its benefits to rural women, which in turn is boosting their household earnings and changing everyday lives for the better

May 15, 2017
The vast expanse of water has degenerated into smaller water patches upstream of the Enamavu barrage. (Photo by S. Gopikrishna Warrier)

Kole farmers of Kerala reel under unprecedented drought

Inadequate freshwater supply from rivers and saline ingress has dealt a double blow to the rice farmers of Kole paddy lands in Kerala even as the state tries to cope with a severe drought

May 12, 2017
Paaro Bai of Dandkala village in Bikaner doing Kashida embroidery. (Photo by Tarun Kanti Bose)

Women artisans of Thar Desert overcome adversity through embroidery

Undeterred by displacement from Pakistan during the 1971 war and resettled in the unforgiving Thar Desert, women now living in Bikaner district have used their skills of traditional embroidery to earn a living with dignity

May 10, 2017
Smallholder farmers in Rayagada in Odisha are using small solar pumps to irrigate vegetable plots. (Photo by Bikalp Chamola)

Solar pumps bring relief to smallholder farmers in Rayagada

Using small solar-powered pumps to irrigate vegetable gardens could transform lives of tribal farmers in Rayagada district of Odisha by boosting farm incomes and stopping seasonal migration to faraway places

May 8, 2017
Ramswaroop of Badahar village in Bidisha district was diagnosed with tuberculosis at the age of 7. (Photo by Abhijeet Jadhav)

Dry land distress drives people to break stones in quarries

A lack of livelihood opportunities is compelling villagers of Vidisha district in Madhya Pradesh to take up jobs in local stone quarries, where unregulated work conditions are often extremely hazardous for their health

May 5, 2017
Farmer Jesuraj of Pudukottai in his farm where he practises agroforestry. (Photo by R. Samuel)

From subsistence farming to agroforestry and prosperity

Farmers in the southern reaches of Pudukottai district in Tamil Nadu have turned to agroforestry to protect and boost incomes because falling groundwater levels and overuse of chemical fertilizers and pesticides had made agriculture unsustainable in the area