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54 cr. farmers in the grip of drought (analysed from The Hindu) (relevant for GS paper III, Topic: Agriculture, Drought, Measures by govt.)

 

Over 54 crore farmers and rural populations across 13 States are in the grip of drought, and it is a multi-dimensional crisis, with food and fodder getting scarce.

Due to the drought, people are battling for drinking water, food has become scarce, domestic cattle are dying a nomadic death and farms have turned fallow.

Good rains [in the coming monsoon] may end the water crisis, yet food shortage will continue until the new crop comes in for which the the government needs to ensure food security.

According to experts, drought in the 1990s was essentially the drought of a poor India. The 2016 drought is also of richer and more water-guzzling India. This classless drought makes for a crisis that is more severe and solutions for it are more complex.

The severity and intensity of drought is not about lack of rainfall but it is about the lack of planning and foresight hence factors leading to drought are also classified as human-made.

Measures taken by govt. to counter drought:

1.    Allocation of additional days of work under MGNREGA to households in drought affected areas
2.    Interventions for saving perennial horticulture crops
3.    Implementation of additional fodder development programme
4.    Flexible allocation under RKVY and other centrally sponsored schemes



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