• This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  •  +98 13 33690925

Back-to-back cyclones prompt Bengal farmers to shift to salt tolerant paddy

Three cyclones - Bulbul in November 2019, Amphan in May 2020, and Yaas in May 2021 – have highlighted the state’s vulnerability to the climate crisis. Over the years, farmers living in the coastal belt of West Bengal have been gradually shifting to salt-resistant paddy

Representational Image. (Sourced: Chowdhury Monirul Haque)

In May, when cyclone Yaas was tearing through Odisha, 51-year-old Ananda Das, a farmer from Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district, was devastated. With his farmlands all submerged under saline water, which gushed into the villages through breaches in the river embankments, the future seemed bleak. Three months down the line, Das has something to rely upon. He along with fellow villagers, whose farmlands have also turned saline, are now growing salt-tolerant varieties of paddy, which were grown in community seedbeds on higher grounds with the government’s help.

“The yield could be a bit less compared to what we used to get from the high yielding variety (HYV) of paddy. But in such highly saline conditions, the HYV won’t survive. We would get at least some yield from the salt-tolerant varieties,” he said.

Three cyclones - Bulbul in November 2019, Amphan in May 2020, and Yaas in May 2021 – have highlighted the state’s vulnerability to the climate crisis. Over the years, farmers living in the coastal belt of West Bengal have been gradually shifting to salt-resistant paddy.

After Amphan, the West Bengal government distributed around 550MT of salt-tolerant varieties of paddy seeds to around 91,000 farmers. After Yaas, around 1200 MT of seeds were distributed in the three coastal districts.

Source: hindustantimes.com