Abundant water in drought stricken region

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Ground water recharged in Palamuru

In the drought stricken Mahaboobnagar District, generally, soil moisture depletion gives a large adverse effect on the development of crops, often resulting in very low yielding. As it rain-fed  farming, delayed rains lead to crop failures. Crop failure, delayed monsoon and cumulated debts, and so on have all been causing severe depression in farmers, for the past two decades. As a result, some of them have even committed suicides. As farming was abandoned, farmers and farming labourers started migrating to urban areas for want of livelihood.

So as to avert this situation  and to bring out the farmers from such a pitiable condition, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) came forward with watershed schemes. By involving a few NGOs they started educating the farmers about the advantages of a watershed and its positive effects on groundwater recharging. They were formed into watershed committees and given tips on water conservation. Thus, all farmers collectively endeavoured to conserve the rain water by digging farm ponds. Over a period they were all well versed  with water conservation measures. They have learnt  the ways to retain soil moisture and optimum utilisation of water. They all started adopting drip irrigation. After implementing the watershed development programme, the village began to prosper with crops and cattle.

Drip irrigation in drought effected areas

The lands in Palamuru are so low yielding that the farmers always run into severe losses. “But, if we save every drop of ran water, we can grow crops even during the summer,” says Kotla Ramakrishnappa, who cultivates cattle feed in his two acres land, located in the forest near Mylaram on Srisailam Road.

Self-reliance

Gomle of Todellagadda village organised her fellow women and learnt all the water conservation measures. They planted trees on the embankments of fields and worked vigorously for conserving rain water. As a result, all the water bodies were recharged, and protected from drying out. “Our two acres of barren land could be made cultivable, and now we are growing red grams and vegetables in it. Bore water is fed into the sump regularly,  and from there irrigated through pipes,” says Gomle. 

Results:

  1. With the development of water resources, more number of people opted for agriculture. Also, since the yield of crops increased, migrations reduced and farmers’ suicides have declined.
  2. As rain water conservation measures prevented water run off and facilitated percolation into the ground, water resources developed, encouraging farmers to go for commercial crops, such as sugarcane and turmeric.
  3. Cultivation area increased significantly. The watershed, which is being managed collectively, has gave good results in the development of natural resources, while giving priority to self-reliance, environmental conservation and poverty alleviation.
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