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Published: Wednesday 17 July, 2013

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Hyderabad: At a time when the country is faced with drought and delayed rains and there is the challenge of not just food security but also nutritional security and ecological security in the era of c puma shoes limate change, small farmers in a droughtprone area of Andhra Pradesh show the way forward when it comes to an uncertain monsoon and receding water tables.

Farmers of a village in Medak district of Andhra Pradesh have switched to crops that need less water. For years they have been guarding this rare treasure dozens of varieties of millet seeds that have ensured that despite erratic and poor rains, their families do not suffer puma shoes the consequences of drought.

On my four acres, I spent 3000 rupees and got a return of 20,000 rupees. All the food that we eat and all the food for my cattle comes from the farm. The food will last me this whole year. This year the rains were not good. If we had good rains, I would have got upto 30,000 rupees, says Anjamma, a farmer in the village.

Farmers like Anjamma grow 2530 varieties of crops in the Kharif season and at least 10 varieties in the Rabi season.

On an acre of farm grow 12 varieties. Some flourish with moderate rain, some no rain, some extra or erratic rainfall. It is an intrinsically riskinsured agriculture. Thats where the future appears to be, says P.

Advocates say there are compelling reasons to look at milletbased traditional agriculture.

60 per cent of the country can grow millets, under rainfed conditions, on different kinds of soils. Millets on one acre saves six million litres of water.

Millets are far superior nutritionally to rice and wheat. They have more protein, iron, calcium and fibre.

As against rice, where the standing water produces gre puma shoes enhouse gases like methane, millets that are grown with legumes fix carbon in the soil.

Thats why in a country facing the challenge of drought and malnutrition, including millets in the foodbasket, the PDS public distribution system, ICDS integrated child development scheme and midday meal can ensure food and nutrition security, livelihood and fodder security and ecological security, all at one go. puma shoes