Stuck under the Weather

A short film depicting impacts of the Orissa Floods on land and livelihoods by Dr. Joe Hill (Tropentag October 6, 2011). The Cyclone warnings on the radio were only sent out hours before it hit. The people of Orissa suffered significant losses and after the storm resided, their only resort was to salvage rice and coconut water. Relief aid only came 4-5 days later. This can almost be seen as an regular scenario in Orissa. Farmers have no land of their own, and if they do it's not fertile to grow enough. Farmers are also aware of their fertilizer use degrading their land fertility, but they have no choice despite the fact that it could cause the next floods to be even worse. Many farmers have resorted to fishing in order to survive but this too is not enough. While cyclones and floods wipe out any coastal aquatic life, industrial fishing in deep waters outside Orissa significantly reduce fish numbers coming into the coast, significantly reducing local fishermen's catch. On land, there is a lack of water and a lack of work. "Every day is a struggle to make ends meet."

Be worthy of two Nobel prizes... Read on...

Water Resource Management Scenario… A boon or bane in India … RAVINDER PAUL SINGH MALIK, IWMI talks about the water resource management scenario in India. DSC_0264 India’s turbulent water future: “Rising population, growing economic activities, rapid urbanization, changing lifestyles, rapid increase in food demand, increase in bio- energy demand are the contributing factors, which put pressure on the available water resources.” The two main questions addressed by him during the course of the presentation were: 1. What are the major water development and management challenges facing India? 2. What are the critical measures that can be taken to address these challenges? Demand is more than the supply: India is on the road to be hit by acute water scarcity if the water resources are not efficiently managed. India is the second populous country with unsustainable water management techniques which is a growing issue pertaining to the food security and economic development of the nation. Looming challenges:

At the kitchen table: Estelle Berset

Scientists are often blamed for living in a ‘scientific bubble’. It’s one thing to talk amongst fellow scientists about a certain research topics and have thorough discussions, but if scientists are not able to communicate their results with people that are not into the topic, their research loses its value. Therefore, we invited two speakers to explain their research as if they were talking to my mum at the kitchen table, who has, besides her own home garden, nothing to do with agricultural research on ‘soil fertility and nutrient cycling’. In part I we present Estelle Berset. ProfilePic038 Estelle Berset Although the title of the presentation on ‘Effects of Mycorrhiza (AMF) and Plant Growth Promoting Rhizo-bacteria (PGPR) Inoculants on Rice Crops in Northern India’ did not immediately appeal to me, Estelle Berset, scientific collaborator at FiBL (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture) in Frick, was a pleasant surprise between all those men during the session ‘soil fertility and nutrient cycling’. Is she able to explain her research in ‘normal words’? Can you explain what your research is about?
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