Monday, January 24, 2011

Climate Change in Agriculture

Usually many farmers visit our office and Agricultural Officers are supposed to be a one stop solution for them. One day a farmer came to my office and he was about to burst out. He was narrating how his field was, the paddy field was at milking stage (nearing maturity stage). His crop stand was very good and it was well maintained. But for the past two days, the field started turning yellow. When he was in the field, the man who involved in spraying commented "So I must come tomorrow prepared for a spray". This comment brought the farmer to my office. Any loss at this stage will ruin him, all his expenses will result in a great loss. Also this is his only source of income and with this rice the family would eat for the entire year. For family consumption purpose (as many farmers do) did not apply any chemical fertilizers or plant protection chemicals. On hearing his narration, I told do not worry about any thing, I would help to my maximum extent to solve the problem. So we both went to his field.

Yes his field looked healthy and the grains were nearing maturity, but the leaves have turned fully yellow as if it is matured. So I had a doubt of pest or insect incidence as he did not spray any chemicals. I walked into his field, there was no insects or disease symptoms. I still went inside the field and there I noticed the presence of orange to marron colur in the leaf margins. I got the point. I came out of the field. I told him not to worry about the field condition. "It is due to CLIMATE CHANGE. Due to continuous rain for more than a month, the soil temperature is very low as there is standing water which is still reducing the temperature. The aeration is not enough for the plants. All you have to do is to drain the water in the field and pray GOD for sunshine. There is no need to fear about pest and diseases and need not go for any spray. If the conditions did not improve after two to three days, then let me know and I would tell the next step that too in an organic way." 

I don't know whether he prayed or not, I prayed for his field especially for sunshine. After few days I was walking from my office to home for lunch, the farmer saw me. He was full of smiles, said "I even purchased an insecticide and a pesticide to rescue my field but I did not spray anything. But as you said, I drained the field and there was sunshine too. Now the crop is green and healthy. Hope in ten days or so I would harvest the crop." You know how happy I was to hear the update.

I had a feel of satisfaction and was VERY VERY HAPPY. I consider this as one of the golden moments in my life. I Thanked God for the sunshine and the recovery of the field which brought the smiles back into the life of a poor farmer.