Livelihoods

July 29, 2019
With the climatic conditions suited for date palms, farmers like Rajendra Deshmukh (right) have started growing dates from Kutch in Maharashtra’s Solapur (Photo by Hiren Kumar Bose)

Date palms make profitable entrance in Solapur

With climatic conditions similar to that of date-growing Kutch, Solapur farmers have started cultivating date palms, finding the extended growth period worth the wait financially

July 26, 2019
Kodo millet stored by a farmer in Khamri in Panna, where most of the tribes have stopped millet cultivation (Photo by Saurav Vema)

Traditional millet cultivation by Gonds needs revival

The Gond tribes, custodians of agro-biodiversity in central India, have traditionally grown millets that are suited to local climate and terrain. The dying practice needs revival and encouragement

July 15, 2019
Gulab Bagh mandi, the largest maize trading center in Purnea district. Traders are making a killing on high demand but cultivators complain of low prices (Photo by Mohd Imran Khan)

Maize loses sheen for Bihar’s farmers

Seemanchal farmers, who switched from wheat and jute to water-friendly maize, are earning less despite high demand and good yield, and look to the government to intervene

July 12, 2019
The desertification of Rayalaseema has intensified the farming crisis in the region (Photo by Rahul M.)

It’s raining sand in Rayalaseema

Changes in crop patterns, waning forest cover, an explosion of borewells and the death of a river have produced dramatic effects on land, air, water and forests in Rayalaseema

July 8, 2019
The farm at Saguna, where the new rice-growing technique was introduced by Bhadsavle (left), attracts scientists like the former director of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (Photo by Hiren Kumar Bose)

Raigad farmers cultivate rice with less water

Farmers in many parts of Maharashtra are switching from water-intensive paddy cultivation to the innovative Saguna rice technique that manages soil and water more efficiently while yielding better harvests

July 5, 2019
Pashu sakhis such as Phulchun Devi of Jhitkahi village help women rear goats by offering various services as para-veterinarians (Photo by AKRSPI)

Rearing goats empower women in rural Bihar

From just grazing goats, women in rural Muzaffarpur have taken to rearing them and attending to their feed and health needs, empowering themselves with increased incomes in the process

July 3, 2019
A Kadwanchi vineyard being watered through drip irrigation and with the roots covered by straw to minimize evaporation (Photo by Joydeep Gupta)

Vineyards of hope amid Marathwada drought

Despite the drought gripping the Marathwada region of Maharashtra, one village in the region has flourished by growing grapes using innovative water saving methods

July 1, 2019
Madur artisans, most of whom are women, use a loom or a bamboo frame to weave the mats (Photo by Gurvinder Singh)

Weavers breathe fresh life into Bengal’s madur mats

Madur, the traditional woven reed mats of Bengal that saw a decline in use in recent times, have been revived by artisanal weavers with support from social enterprises and the state government

June 26, 2019
Large herds of elephants destroy paddy crops in Assam every year before harvest (Photo by Mike Pence)

Pepper helps Rabhas to live with tuskers

The Rabha people in Assam have taken to cultivating pepper in their homesteads to discourage elephants from ravaging paddy fields, and to also earn a neat income in the bargain

June 24, 2019
The craft of Kuthampully weavers faces an uncertain future (Photo by Remya Padmadas)

Kuthampully weavers facing decline in Kerala

For centuries, they have created Kerala's classic off-white and gold sarees and veshtis. Now, low incomes, an ageing workforce, shifting demand and power looms are forcing changes in this traditional occupation