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Dramatic improvement in groundwater levels

R. Avadhani
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FIELD VISIT:District Collector Dinakar Babu, Commissioner R. Sridevi and Dr. Wani visit ICRISAT’s project site in Fasalwadi mandal in Sangareddy.- PHOTO: MOHD ARIF
FIELD VISIT:District Collector Dinakar Babu, Commissioner R. Sridevi and Dr. Wani visit ICRISAT’s project site in Fasalwadi mandal in Sangareddy.- PHOTO: MOHD ARIF

G. Sattaiah is an elderly farmer of this village. Since the past two years he has been witnessing a visible change in the village.

The groundwater levels have increased, milk yield by the cattle has improved and some farmers have been able to go in for a third crop.

“I have 4.5 acres of land and cultivate sugarcane and paddy. Since the last two years, the yield in bores has increased thereby allowing us to provide water for the crops. Not only I, but many of the villagers benefited as besides the quality of the milk, the quantity has also increased,” Mr. Sattaiah told The Hindu .

This change was made possible with the initiative: Integrated Genetic and Natural Resources Management (IGNRM) - by SAB Miller India in association with International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid-Tropic (ICRISAT) to improve the conditions, in particular, for the farming community. Both the organisations arranged a field visit to the village.Dr. Suhas P. Wani, Assistant Research Project Director, ICRISAT, says that the project was implemented at Fasalvadi, Shivampet, Venkatakishtapur and Chakriyal villages in the last four years, which has resulted in various benefits. These include additional water storage capacity of more than 30,000 cubic metres leading to groundwater recharge of 75,000 cubic metres, increase of moisture content between 5 to 10 per cent, increased crop yield and increased income sources in addition to additional business of Rs.1.2 lakh by Self-Help Groups.

“Water has been becoming scarce, leading to wars. Water availability has decreased in the last five decades across the nation despite having sufficient rainfall of 955 mm average. We are using only 40 to 45 per cent of water properly. By putting in place some measures like this, we can manage to use more water efficiently,’’ said Dr. Wani, adding that in sugarcane the income had increased by Rs. 18,000 per hectare, while it increased by Rs. 5,000 per hectare in paddy.

The project has been implemented in the private and public partnership mode, he said and the results have been satisfying. The spent malt programme being run in the village has resulted in increase of milk yield, he added.

Collector A. Dinakar Babu, who also participated in the programme at the village, said that this project can be replicated in other areas as well.


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