In early September, I traveled to Danta, a small but bustling village in rural Rajasthan, about eight hours’ drive from Delhi, to meet Sundaram Varma.
A farmer in his early sixties with short-cropped white hair and a broad smile, Varma runs a sizable farm producing goods for market, but he’s also an agricultural pioneer: among his innovations are a new technique for planting trees in dry land that maximizes moisture in the soil — allowing them to survive with as little as one liter of irrigation — and hundreds of new varieties of chilis and cluster beans. His wife, Bhagwati Devi, has also developed an eco-friendly method of termite control . . .
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