For the third consecutive year, certain parts of the country had below normal rainfall. But in certain parts, the rainfall was more than normal. Not only this. Sometimes there is heavy rainfall in one place, but in a place just half a kilometer away from this place, there is no sign of rainfall at all. Sometimes there are clouds in the sky everyday but the rain does not fall. These entire phenomenon should be studied and research should be undertaken to increase rainfall. There is a procedure of cloud seeding with salt by aircrafts to condense water in the clouds and induce rainfall. This procedure should be undertaken wherever and whenever there is need. Each district should have a few aircrafts for cloud seeding.
But cloud seeding is not sufficient. Sometimes, there may not be clouds at all. Now research should be undertaken on how the clouds are formed and on how cloud formation can be made artificially. Three- fourths of the area of the earth is oceans and there is continuous evaporation. With the earth getting warmer-if this is true- there should be more evaporation and more clouds and consequently more rainfall. Now there should be research on dispersing the clouds to the places where there are no clouds. India should perhaps take the initiative to set up an international research institute on rainfall, first to understand how the rainfall takes place and then to study the ways and means of increasing the rainfall.
According to FAO, India has arable land of 157 million hectares(ha). It has a population of about 1250 million people. The density of population per ha of arable land is about 8 persons.
Bangladesh has arable land of 7.7.million ha and a population of about 155 million. The density of population per ha of arable land is about 20 persons i.e. about 2.5times that of India.
Bangladesh annually produces about 51 million MT of food grains, mostly paddy(not rice).i.e. about 330kg per head per year while India annually produces about 280 million MT(paddy taken into account- not rice)i.e. only about 225kg per head per year. It is strange that even with low per capita production India occasionally exports food grains while Bangladesh imports food grains.
Bangladesh receives rainfall of about 265 cm annually while India receives only about 110 cm of rainfall. But low production of grains in India is not due to shortage of water,It is due to under utilization of water as can be seen from the very large quantity of river water joining the sea in various parts of India.There shold be more lakes and dams in India and river and rain water should be drained in these lakes and dams .
Bangladesh takes two/three crops in a years on larger proportion of land than India. Average paddy yield in Bangladesh is also high at around 4.3 MT/ha while in India it is about 3.5 MT/ha. Thus while on an ha of arable land Bangladesh produces about 6.5 MT of food grains, India produces only about 1.8 MT(India produces coarse grains on rain fed areas where the yield is very low and this brings down annual production on an ha of land.
India needs to spend more time and energy on finding ways for better utilization of rain/river water -by linking rivers with rivers, rivers with lakes, recharging ground water etc.
Serious concerns are expressed on looming water shortages for domestic, agricultural, industrial and other uses as well as “over exploitation of sources of ground water”. These concerns seem to be unwarranted.
Water is a renewable resource. There are news items about a number of places,provinces and countries receivig highest raifall this year, witnessing wettest August, or September etc. The gound water automatically gets recharged as it rains and there is no problem in exploiting ground water. There is no question of excessive exploitation as once th water dries under ground there can be no exploitation. Moreover,the dangers of flood will be minimised when there are more open and borewells and lakes as the recharge of ground water and lakes will take much of rain water leaving lesser water to flow into the rivers.
World food situation is not as alarming as is reported by FAO, media etc.
1.If D.R.Congo and Angola which together have as much land as India (over3 million sq.km) and which receive as much rainfall as India could bring under cultivation as large land as India, get yield of 2.5MT/ha as in India ( which is very low compared to world average or countries like China,US,) and produce about230 million MT, Africa will become self sufficient in food grains.The world will become surplus in grains for many years to come.
2.If India increases yield from 2.5MT/ha on its cereal acreage of 92 million ha to about 4 MT/ha (against china’s yield of 5.5MT/ha and US’ yield of 6.9 MT/ha) the additional food production of about 138 million MT will wipe out deficit in Africa. The world would be faced with huge surplus leading to fall in prices.
3.If US and other developed countries bring down the consumption of meat by 50%, consumption still being many times that of India, the grains saved from feeding animals will more than offset the African grain deficit and the world will have surplus for many years.
4.If Russia can increase average yield on its 32 million ha from 1.8 MT/ha to3.8 MT/ha half of the deficit in Africa will be wiped out.
5.If African countries selling/leasing out land to foreigners insist on the investors cultivating food grains crops, Africa will become surplus in food grains.
6.If peace is brought in countries which have internal strife, food grains production in those countries will increase to the extent of removing food shortage in Africa.
From the above it is clear that it is not difficult to remove hunger from the world
The top priority for any state government in India, particularly those in the south, should be construction of lakes on a large scale, not only to dam rivulets but also to drain rainwater from ditches and pits into the lakes. Tamilnadu receives around 100 cm of rainfall per year on an average. If the rainwater is harvested to the maximum extent possible, two- three crops can be raised in most of the places. Tamilnadu will become surplus in food grains.
During rainy season in October-December, one finds water everywhere(i.e.on very large area), stagnating in shallow ditches. This water evaporates in 15-20 days once the rainy season ends, without being of any use for cultivation as the water is not deep enough to recharge ground water. If this water is drained into deep lakes to be constructed, the evaporation will be less and the ground water will be recharged. Around the lakes, one can get water in the wells at a depth of 20-25ft. While rains will be more or less enough to raise one crop, well water will help raise 1-2 crops.
Lake water can also be a reliable source of drinking water for people of villages around the lakes. While supplying water to people from reservoirs/rivers hundreds of kilometres away is welcome, this is not as reliable a source as local lake water.
Each district should have a senior water resources development officer with technical staff and with adequate powers to sanction construction of a lake and related work
Guyana is a midsized country in terms of area, with about 215000 sq.kilometres. However in terms of population, it is a very small country with a population of only about 750000 which works out to a density of less than 4 people per sqkm. The world average is about 14 people per sq.km. Guyana has fertile land, receives good amount of rainfall with a number of perennial rivers.The country can easily sustain a population of over 10 million, but unfortunately, the population is declining by about 0.5%.(mainly due to migration to USA, Canada)every year. This is why,the country is unable to exploit its natural resources like land, rainfall, bauxite, gold etc. Its per capita income is only about US$7000/- Guyana can raise its per capita income to about uS$15000/- within a short period of about 5 years, if the goverment leases out just 2 million hectares of its land to foreigners.The population may increase to about 1 million and the GDP would go up to about 15000 million.