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August 28th, 2007
The Dying Fields
Daily Life in Vidarbha: Water
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The climate in Maharashtra is mostly tropical, and water resources have always been scarce. Over 80 percent of Vidarbha’s annual rainfall occurs during the monsoon, which arrives in June and ends in September. But Nagpur still receives only 44 inches of rain a year during these four months, compared to the neighboring Mumbai’s 106 inches. Moreover, it is estimated that Vidarbha suffers from a drought every six years — that is, the region receives less than 75 percent of expected rainfall.

In 2005, the state of Maharashtra launched the Agriculture Productivity Improvement Campaign and committed to invest in irrigation, farmer training and infrastructure in the region. A year later, the federal government unveiled a $930 million relief package for Vidarbha’s farmers including irrigation projects and debt relief. These long term irrigation projects are intended to enhance the viability of agriculture in Vidarbha, but many have yet to be implemented.

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