Like everywhere and elsewhere, monsoon rain is the deciding factor, it is deciding the future of the farming communities in most of the cases. It is around the expected monsoon or rainfall, farmers hopes and aspiration is weaved.
Well distributed rainfall! Good harvest so is good rural economy. This is the general assumption of all and it is appropriately so in many cases.
Tripura is fortunate to have such natural bounty due to the fact that rainfall pattern in Tripura is quite uniform with little variation or exception here and there in some years or seasons.
Now, the basic question is; how this natural resource is utilized? In the farming context, the answer would be; yes, it is utilized for growing of crops and other utilities.
But, what is the share of usage of this natural resource in terms of total volume of rainfall that the state receives? Of course, in this case, expected answer would be “contrast and imaginary”. People feel, their ponds are full and filled, natural lakes are filled and river and streams are full or well above the normal level. Means, everything is enough and sufficient for now and days to come.
But, what happens is; within a period of three to four months after the Monsoon, River & stream water is down, pond water is slowly down and by the month January and February, most of the rivers become a small canal. Vast land resource is remaining non-cropped due to want of water.
This is the condition that is being observed all over the state. The affect of this is; your Boro Paddy is affected, your vegetable cultivation becomes very expensive drawing water from distant source. Rabi crops suffer and production reached to the lowest level. And, there is also scarcity of drinking water in various parts of the state during this time.
In recent times, there has been news that water table in general is going down in many areas of the state. Decades ago where pulling of water was possible by installing sixty to seventy feet pipe depth in plain area has changed drastically due to decrease of water table.
Some points out; it is due to the loss of vegetation that is affecting by way of lowering the water table.
The most important aspect that is being observed in the state is; there is no much awareness for harvesting the rain water. There is no whispering amongst the general people to conserve or preserve this precious natural resource. Whatever rainfall the state receives is subjected to loss due to rain water run-off.
Although, Government is seriously pursuing to improve this situation through construction of rain water harvesting structures and watershed management etc but, these concept of improving the water table has not been making a kind of success in the state.
Resultant affect; the best cropping season as far as day length and temperature “the Boro season” has remained in the stagnant condition due to want of irrigation or water supply.
Improving the total cereal production would not solely rely on good Agronomic practices but some of the pre-requisite should also be in place to ensure this to happen.
Paddy production during Boro season could have been excellent had the irrigation or other potential sources are in place to ensure this. Boro paddy is grown in water scanty due to lack of water resource and this has affected total rice production in the state.
Farmers of the state do know; water is also a problem in crop production but they do not know how to preserve and conserve this resource for better crop production and other utilities.
The need of the hour is: creating awareness, people especially farming communities should be aware of the fact as to how to prevent or minimize the rain water run-off and create structure for rain water collection and harvesting for future cropping and also other utilities.
Agritangkol dated 10.02.2012 at 5.20 P.M