Chennai, January 12, 2017: The Government of Tamil Nadu has declared the state as drought affected. This will help in providing the needed assistance to farming families in their hour of distress. I however hope some amount of funds will also be provided for strengthening the coping capacity of farm families in managing the effects of future droughts. The following areas need particular attention.
- Setting up in each district, a multi-disciplinary monsoon management centre which will provide timely information to rural families on methods of mitigating the effects of drought and maximising the benefits of good growing conditions whenever the season is normal
- Making arrangements for saving cattle and other farm animals through the establishment of animal husbandry camps. Usually animals tend to be neglected during such crises.
- Special provision for enabling women to manage household food security under conditions of agrarian distress. This will involve providing non-farm employment through Self Help Groups
- Training a cadre of men and women monsoon management fellows at the level of each Panchayat through appropriate training in all aspects of water and crop security under conditions of monsoon failure.
These steps will be necessary to ensure that in addition to immediate relief, some long term steps are initiated to face similar meteorological challenges in the future.
(In the Pic: Karunkulam rainfed tank in restoration process)