Shivering Lifeline – The Drying (dying) springs in the Himachal Pradesh
Author(s): Partik Kumar (Young Professional, RRA network) and Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan, Editor, Agriculture World, Agriculture World | Volume 5, Issue 4 | April 2019
Nearly four fifth’s of the Himalayan population is directly involved in agriculture, while 12.5% of total land area is cultivated, only 11% of the cultivable land is under irrigation, almost 64% of which is fed by natural springs.
Hindu Kush Himalaya mountain chain, spanning 8 countries, covering an area of about 43 lakh km2, plays an important role in ensuring water, food, energy, and environmental security for much of the continent. The nine major perennial rivers have their origins in the Himalayas and the Indian Himalayan Region spans 10 hill States namely Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram Nagaland, Tripura, Jammu & Kashmir and two partial hill States – Assam and West Bengal. Nearly four fifth’s of the Himalayan population is directly involved in agriculture, while 12.5% of total land area is cultivated, only 11% of the cultivable land is under irrigation, almost 64% of which is fed by natural springs.
Green revolution and its impact on the environment and women farmers
Author(s): Titus James*, Anahita Surya*, Sonal Soni*, Nupur*, Sajal Kulkarni (RRAN Young Professional), Kanna K Siripurapu (RRAN Young professional), Paramesh Patidar (RRAN Young professional), Anushree Singh (Programme associate (policy research), RRAN), Rizwana (AF ecology center), Aashima Chaudhary (OMM), C Bakka Reddy (WASSAN), Yogini Dolke (Society for Rural and Urban Joint Activities), Raso and Jyoti (Slash and Burn Agriculturalists), Swati (Dharamitra), Dr GR Shamkuwar (KVK Bhandara), Avil Bolkar (GYPM), Kumbitola, Jyoti (YRA), Abbey (YRA), Deepak Sharma (Vaagdhara), Mohan Dangli (Sangharsh Samiti).
* Centre for Social Justice and RRA Network | March 2019
While green revolution was an urgent necessity at the time of its introduction, in the Indian context, today the country is food secure, but is faced with the immense challenge of climate change that has put at great risk the fruits of that hard-fought battle. Climate change is putting at greater risk at least 55%, if not all, of the net sown area – classified as rain fed regions – that do not have access to secured to irrigation. Today’s Agriculture – production cycle of inputs and agriculture itself – contributes to one third (2012) of all anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases a sizable chunk of all greenhouse gas production. By comparison, the transportation sector contributes 23% of all anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases.
The green revolution, has for women been a largely disempowering experience as it lead to greater dismissal of their contribution in agriculture, dismantling of local systems to which women had greater access, exclusion of women from gaining of new knowledge associated with green revolution practices and exclusion of state support due to the linking of all state support to ownership of land, more often than not, held by men.
While the consequences of these are varied and complex, this paper seeks to explore the implications of the exclusion of women – knowledge women held, practices women undertook – on the environment. This is sought to be done through the examination of these practices and how they were more sustainable agricultural practices while also having the potential in contributing to the development of better more sustainable practices. Theses also keep with other Sustainable Development goals viz. goal 3, 5, 11 and 13 – good health and wellbeing, gender equality, sustainable cities and communities, climate action and life on land.
The paper will examine practices that existed as regards seeds and diversity, what crops were grown and cropping, and what has changed post green revolution. It will look at practices that were prevalent – more diverse crops, inter-cropping/ mixed cropping, and methods/ techniques used in that regard. In doing so, it also looks at changes the green revolution brought and the consequences of these changes on the environment, increased exclusion of women and consequences for nutritional security for the household.