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Cow dung, fruit trees and ants: How Assam copes with climate change
September 18, 2017
Subhadra Kumari had to wait a nervous few weeks before the flood waters abated from her paddy field and she could start planting rice saplings.
"We are behind the ideal time for planting the saplings because of the floods," says the 35-year-old farmer while working on her field in Assam's Biswanath Chariali district. "But even so, we will be on time for harvest. The elders in the village have predicted more rains, but this local variety of rice will be able to withstand it."
This local rice variety is bao, an indigenous, deep-water or floating river variety that fares better than hybrid varieties during intermittent submergence from flash floods. Bao is also more tolerant of drought-like situations -- another common feature in Assam thanks to climate change.