Organic farming gathers steam in the Sundarbans

Faced with longer and hotter summers, many farmers in the Sundarbans have embraced organic farming with local crop varieties that are better adapted to a changing climate and fetch adequate returns as well.

Umapati Sarkar, a progressive farmer in the Sundarbans in West Bengal, who travels extensively to promote organic farming among the people, has many stories of his journeys. Umapati, who is now in his sixties, has noticed that the climate has been changing in the Sundarbans, with shorter springs, and longer and hotter summers. Farmers have to change their farming practices to adapt and survive, he says.

“High yielding rice came into our Sundarbans villages in the early eighties, and so did urea. The government village worker in those days used to approach farmers to grow these rice varieties and even used to pay them if they were willing to grow it. And slowly, this caught on due to the high yields,” he says.