"Our yields have improved"
The once lush Godavari river basin in central India now experiences regular droughts due to climate change and decades of poor water management. But farmers, like Swarupchand Maher, have improved their livelihood despite the difficult circumstances.
"Before it was hard to make enough money from selling our cotton and vegetables. With the new techniques, our yields have improved. We don’t have to spend so much time on weeding and watering and we’re using less pesticide", says Swarupchand Maher.
Income from cotton and vegetables on Swarupchand’s 28 acre farm used to barely support his household of 11 people. But since getting involved in an IKEA and WWF project to promote more sustainable farming practices, his income has improved and his family enjoys a better quality of life.
Swarupchand has adopted drip irrigation for 14 acres of cotton, saving water and cutting down on weeds. He can now grow vegetables between his cotton plants, and with less watering and weeding to do he needs to spend less time in the field. He uses more organic fertiliser, which is improving soil quality, and has cut down on pesticide. The pesticides he uses are mixed to meet the conditions in his fields combining chemical and traditional solutions.
He continues to attend the classes at his local resource centre so he can keep up-to-date with new farming methods, and inspire other farmers in the village to follow his lead.
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