In Indian mining hub, farmers bring polluted land back to life

World

In Indian mining hub, farmers bring polluted land back to life

Iron ore mining blights farmland, hitting food production, but pilot project helps revive degraded fields to grow crops

Anuradha Nagaraj

For years, Indian farmer Chape Hanumaiya struggled to grow anything on his tiny plot of land - it was caked in the thick, red dust drifting from the iron ore mines that surrounded it.

But today, Hanumaiya and his wife are about to harvest pearl millet and sesame crops, thanks to a pilot project that seeks to fight migration and boost food security around the southern city of Hosapete, the heart of India’s iron ore industry.

“My father grew millet and cotton on this land decades ago,” said Hanumaiya, 46, sitting in the shade of a tree near his 0.4-hectare (1 acre) smallholding...

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