Back to the Land: The New Green Revolution

Photograph for TIME by Johann Rousselot / Oeil Public

Sowing success
Small farmers, like these in India's Vidarbha region, need better technology to boost production

Anyone walking through Prashant Thakare's freshly planted cotton field in the central Indian village of Takarakhede Shambhu could easily mistake a 65-ft.-wide (20 m) pool of murky water for, well, a pool of murky water. Yet that simple pond has transformed Thakare's 22-acre (9 hectare) farm and, indeed, his life.

Thakare, like nearly all the farmers in this arid region of Vidarbha in the state of Maharashtra, is dependent on India's annual monsoon to provide the water necessary to grow his cotton and soybeans. A failed monsoon meant disaster. Without the rain,...

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