IMPHAL, May 4 - Manipur received deficit rainfall during January-April this year compared with the previous year�s record, Vice Chancellor of the Central Agricultural University (CAU), Imphal, Dr M Premjit Singh, said.
Stating that Manipur receives an average annual rainfall of around 1,400 mm, Dr Premjit pointed out that in the last four months, the State received only 50 per cent of the expected rainfall.
January recorded just 3.4 mm of rainfall against the previous year�s record of 13.5 mm. Similarly, February got 20.3 mm (against 40.9 mm), March 36 mm (against 75 mm) and April 70 mm (against 123 mm), he added.
The VC was speaking at a farmers� awareness programme on agro-meteorological advisory services under the �Gramin Krishi Mausam Seva� at the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Manipur centre, at Lamphelpat here on Friday. The programme was attended by scientists and farmers.
�The farming community needs more awareness on the changing climate pattern. Collection of regular weather or rainfall data and providing advisory services through mobile phones is need of the hour,� he said. Minor pests become major pests under the changing climate trends and unpredicted rainfall, he added.
Objecting to the conversion of fertile agricultural fields into ponds for other economic activities such as fisheries after crop failure, the VC of the CAU, which has 13 colleges under different disciplines in seven NE States, said, �There are chances of creating a food crisis after some time if we do so.� Rice is said to be the major staple crop for about half of the world population.
Echoing him, Director of Instruction (CAU), Dr S Basanta Singh, suggested maintenance of a crop calendar in the region on the basis of long-term weather data so that the farmers can plan their agricultural practices in time.
Stating that the winter months have been drier in States like Mizoram in the last 40-50 years, Dr Basanta added that fruit flies become serious pests of tomato for the first time in that State.
I Meghachandra, Joint Director of ICAR, Manipur centre, said that their centre is providing weather data through mobile phones to the needy communities.