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By VIKAS BAJAJ

During a recent trip to a rural part of western India to report on rising food prices, I met two kinds of farmers those with access to irrigation and those without. The differences between the two were stark.

Those with drip irrigation or sprinklers invariably were reaping rich harvests and profits. But the vast majority of India’s farmers fall in the second camp: they water their crops by flooding their fields with water from wells, or, if they are really poor, they simply wait for the monsoon rains.
These farmers seem to live from crop cycle to crop cycle. Some years they hit a bumper crop if the rain is timely and plentiful but not overwhelming, but a bad flood or a weak monsoon can destroy them.
Manik Singh Jadhav was one of the fortunate farmers. I interviewed him in this video. He has a master’s…

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