The advisory for farmers by the IMD has been to provide irrigation, and mulching- providing a covering between two rows of vegetable crops for conservation of soil moisture and maintaining the soil temperature.
CropIn uses data such as the crop stage, weather, time of sowing and harvesting, season, location and a multitude of such factors, to customise farmer solutions. The advisory given also has to be actionable- the farmer should be able to access resources and implement the advisory, Pankajakshan said. “We also have to be careful regarding the advisory we provide so as to not overwhelm the farmers,” he said.
Pankajakshan also said that farmers are considering early or late sowing. For instance, if sowing takes place early, a sudden heat wave has less impact as plants are already matured. Irrigation also prevents the crop from drying out and enabling the plant to recover from the heat wave impact.
Farmers are also advised to plant shorter duration crops, he explained. Intercropping crops of short duration can offset crops of longer duration which are more susceptible to damage from heat waves, he explained.
Lalan said that farmers can use fertilisers to provide additional support in terms of nutrients and improve crop canopy.
To be sure, such remedial measures will have a limited impact in case of persistently high temperatures for days at a stretch, Lalan cautioned.
That leaves farmers with insurance to protect against damages, he added.
Food habits and consumer demand will need to change too, Pankajakshan said. After all, farmers grow what is in demand in markets. While millets are highly resilient to climate change and have immense nutritional value, paddy is water intensive, he explained.
Farmers are at a loss over how to restrict it, Ursal said. Every year is bringing fresh challenges, he rues.