We interviewed a number of farmers in one of the most backward and remote district Uttarkashi in Uttarakhand state of India, about the kind of changes they now face in agriculture production and how they are adapting to it.
The farmers mentioned that they feel climatic change for last 10-20 years in the form of untimely rains, heavy rainfall, heavy storms, dry spells, no to heavy snowfall and increase on average temperature. Most of them find that the agriculture production has reduced between 30-50 percent of preceding time in traditional cropping systems. Also they are facing hardship in agriculture productivity, animal husbandry and in their routine works due to harsh weather conditions to which events like flash floods, cloud bursts and erratic rains add problems.
As an alternate mechanism, those have adequate land holding are practicing horticulture in the form of apple production, which they feel will give them steady and good income. However, the options are not available with all, as the small land holding is a big issue in this mountainous region, and with poor families that is a big constraint to practice horticulture.
The solutions they suggest to overcome from more dry spells and heavy rains are in the form of construction of ponds and water ditches to retain water for future use and for this they need help from government. Also they feel that government should look in to alternate employment opportunities and technical support and help them on agriculture and horticulture production.
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