Rajasthan farmers say climate change affecting livelihood

Jaipur, Oct 7 (Calcutta Tube) Small and marginal farmers are suffering the most due to climate change manifesting through rising temperature and erratic rainfall, dwindling the scope for livelihood in agriculture and animal husbandry.

This was the common refrain of farmers from different agro-climatic zones of Rajasthan, who presented their testimonies at a public hearing on climate change organized by the Centre for Community Economics and Development Consultants’ Society (CECOEDECON) at Sitapura Industrial Area here Tuesday.

‘The public hearing was organised in the run-up to the Climate Summit to be held next month at Cancun in Mexico to draw the attention of national and international policy-makers to the plight of farmers, livestock owners and small producers at the grassroots affected by global warming’, said Sharad Joshi, secretary, CECOEDECON.

CECOEDECON is one of the few non-governmental organizations accredited by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

More than 150 representatives from different parts of Rajasthan took part in the hearing, which was attended by researchers, experts, government officers of agriculture, water and animal husbandry departments and representatives of NABARD and the State Livelihood Mission.

Sixty-two-year-old Hanuman Sahay Sharma from Naila said the animal husbandry activities had practically come to naught in his village due to scarcity of water and fodder. The farming of jamun and tomato has stopped following a sharp decline in the ground water level.

Om Prakash of Singhana village in Jhunjhunu district said on the basis of his experience spanning 40 years that agriculture and livestock rearing avocations had been directly affected. Irregular and unpredictable rains as well as increase in temperature have adversely affected the crop yield.

Several farmers such as Bao Bai Jatav of Suraj Ka Kheda village and Mathura Lal Sahariya of Gesua village in Tonk district, Om Prakash Sharma of Kabida village in Sikar district, Bhaira Ram of tribal-dominated Salumbar village in Udaipur district and Bhogilal Sahariya of Shahbad in Baran district underlined the need to protect the earth and the precious life on it by sustained and meaningful efforts.

The farmers narratives would be submitted to the policy-makers to help them devise action plans and strategies to combat climate change.

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