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Climate adaptation: Dhar farmers embrace new soybean variety

06:11 PM Apr 24, 2023 IST | Ground report
climate adaptation  dhar farmers embrace new soybean variety

In the Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh, the farming community engages in agricultural preparations from Akshaya Tritiya every year. This period is significant as farmers make land deals and other arrangements, including renting fields.

However, it is also a time when a concern arises, as the impending rainy season brings with it a 15-20 day drought that can negatively affect soybean crop production.


This year, however, there is less panic among farmers. In the past, they have tried various tricks to cope with the interruption of the rains, but without success due to climate change. Despite this, farmers remain hopeful and continue to work hard to ensure a successful crop yield.

Soybean crop production threatened by climate change

Climate change has caused a period of rainfall uncertainty, which is affecting agriculture. Although climate change is a natural process, human activities have accelerated it, making it necessary to adapt to the changing environment. As we seek to change our lifestyles to mitigate the impact of climate change, adaptation is also necessary.


In the agricultural sector, adaptation is essential to ensure sustainable agricultural production. For this, the Agricultural Research Center has introduced a new variety of soybeans at the Agricultural University.

The soybean variety is capable of withstanding water shortages for 15 to 20 days, making it resistant to adverse weather conditions. This is a significant advance in the face of changing weather patterns and can help farmers maintain consistent yields, even in uncertain times.


The introduction of a new tolerant soybean variety has led farmers in Dhar district to abandon traditional seeds and adopt the new variety. This change marks the beginning of a new tradition in the district and serves as a unique example of local climate action.

Soybean is an important crop for the economic well-being of farmers in the Dhar district. The prosperity of the farmers in the region is linked to the production of this crop, which is the leading crop in the district.


Evidence shows that soybeans are grown on about three lakh hectares during the rabi growing season, out of a total cultivated area of 4 lakh 12 thousand hectares.

Maize and other staples are grown on more than one lakh hectares, but soybeans remain the most important crop in the district and are often referred to as ‘yellow gold’. The introduction of the new soybean variety is expected to have a positive impact on the economic situation of farmers in the district.

Changing monsoon patterns affect farmers

During a discussion with Dr. GS Gathia, a scientist at the local Krishi Vigyan Kendra, it was revealed that the monsoon trend changes every year, with seasons coming and going.

Dr. GS Gathia said that, the dry spell during the monsoon season, which used to last only 4-5 days, has now increased to 15-20 days due to climate change. This prolonged dry period has a negative impact on soybean crops, sometimes causing the plants to dry out and require replanting.

He added ‘monsoon season is characterized by prolonged periods of intense heat, and when the crop is ready to ripen, the rainy season persists. These changes are worrisome and farmers need to take steps to adapt to these new weather patterns. Paying attention to these changes early on is essential to ensure the best possible results for crop production’.

Soybean varieties for climate change

Dr. Gathia has highlighted the discovery of several soybean varieties, including NRC 150, NRC 141, NRC 148 and NRC 157 by the National Soybean Research Center. Gwalior Agricultural University also introduced the RVS-18, 24 and 25 varieties to the market.

‘These varieties have shown the ability to resist climate change and can survive periods without rain for 15 to 20 days during the monsoon season. Traditional soybean varieties cannot withstand these conditions, making newer varieties a more viable option for farmers’ he added.

The new varieties have shown better resistance to pests such as the stem fly, the whitefly and the horsefly beetle. Dr. Gathia emphasized the importance of farmers paying attention to these new varieties and adopting them to combat climate change.

At present, farmers in Dhar district get a yield of 4 to 5 quintals per bigha of soybeans. However, by using the new soybean variety, they can increase their production to 6 to 7 quintals per bigha.

This is a crucial step farmers need to take now as they prepare for the next growing season with limited time left. The monsoon season is only two months away and it is critical that farmers switch to the new soybean variety to maximize their yields.

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