Saturday, June 20, 2009
Mixed news from the project site
As evidenced by the title, Project Jatropha is bringing good and bad news from our project site in India.
The good news: The premonsoon rainfall occurred for a day and during that time, the enthusiastic farmers managed to plant 5000 seedlings.
The bad news: The one day of premonsoon rainfall has been followed by an extended period of time with no rain whatsoever. This is a rare occurrence, and monsoon rainfalls have been delayed significantly (they were supposed to have already started). Ironically enough, the latter is due to climate change, which wreaks havoc on delicate weather systems such as monsoons. Although the Jatropha plants are very hardy, lack of water will hurt other crops that the farmers grow. This problem applies to any farmer, especially subsistence farmers, who depend on yearly weather patterns at certain times to grow crops. The problems created by climate change affect even those who contribute nothing to it.
To end on a more optimistic note, the farmers are very eager for the monsoon rainfalls to arrive as they want to plant the remaining Jatropha seedlings from Phase II as soon as possible. We're sure that the monsoon rains will occur, but the time and duration of the rains are uncertain. The farmers can only cross their fingers and pray for the monsoon rains.