Sweet paradox: Drought-stricken farmers plant thirstiest crop in India

Despite pleas from the government not to,  farmers like Santosh Wagh went right back to planting sugarcane as soon as the first nourishing monsoon rains brought water to his drought-stricken region of central India.

For growers like Wagh, a 35-year old from the Marathwada region in the west of Maharashtra, sugar cane has two attributes that make planting the crop lucrative - hardiness and state policies that ensure higher returns. These farmers sow the cane even as its outsized water demands relative to other crops threaten.....

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