Muthukrishnan remembers the time when he was a young boy who used to bring paddy seedlings from their nursery in Kumbakonam to his grandmother, who lived in the coastal town of Tharangambadi. He would help his grandmother plant them on her farm, which was on the coast of Bay of Bengal at a half kilometre from the sea, and return home.
At 56, he now observes the groundwater and soil are saline in his farmland even though it is 20km from the coast. He and a group of friends have a combined ownership over 20 acres of land in Kadagam village in Nannilam taluk of Tiruvarur district, Tamil Nadu.
Inadequate rains and droughts have been leading to groundwater depletion in many coastal villages in Tamil Nadu. This has led to seawater seeping in and increasing the salinity levels in water and soil. But the farmers are taking the problem on the chin by tackling it through organic agricultural practices and some innovative measures.