While honey can sweeten coffee for the drinker, coffee farmers of Kodagu district of Karnataka are realising that raising bees for honey in their farms can sweeten their economic returns. It is one of the innovative methods being tried out in the district to provide additional financial incentives to coffee farmers to conserve the landscape they have inherited. This, in turn, can strengthen climate resilience and improve the water flow into the Cauvery. Writes S. Gopikrishna Warrier for India Climate Dialogue.
In Kodagu, the changing climate is making rainfall erratic. With erratic rainfall, famers are opting to use irrigation, reducing their need for shade trees. When they let the shade trees die, there is an adverse effect on the water flow into the Cauvery River, as well as climate resilience in the surrounding hills and plains. By S. Gopikrishna Warrier, for India Climate Dialogue. (Photo: Coffee farmer B.B. Thammaiah’s rainfall record, photo by author.)
With insufficient rains over the Western Ghats during this year’s southwest monsoon, there is a shortage of water in the reservoirs across the Cauvery in Karnataka. This has led to the flaring of the water sharing dispute with the lower riparian state of Tamil Nadu in the recent days. While this acrimony continues, eco-certification as a form of payment for ecosystem services is becoming popular in Kodagu district, so that coffee farmers protect the forests under which they grow their crop, thereby preserving the water flow into the Cauvery. These measures also help to maintain the climate resilience in the river’s catchment and command. Writes Gopikrishna Warrier for India Climate Dialogue.
Bindu writes about climate change, climate justice, and the need for resilience in the context of growing food in uncertain weather in Auroville, an international community in south India based on the Integral Yoga philosophy of Sri Aurobindo. Image: The Souryan Garden, the first vegetable garden of Budda Garden in Auroville.
Amitav Ghosh makes a profound statement in his book The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable, proclaiming that individual action is not sufficient to deal with climate change. It needs collective effort, for which writers of fiction must write about climate change so that it becomes as much of a backdrop as war has traditionally been in fiction. Book review by S. Gopikrishna Warrier for FRONTLINE.
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Visit this link to read the June 2016 LEISA (Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture) India magazine issue on valuing underutilised crops. This issue features articles on the topics of: Valuing underutilised crops Achieving self sufficiency in pulse production Uncultivated foods Climate smart crops Traditional crops Enhancing crop diversity Yams on terrace walls Valuing un-cultivated foods…
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