A farm pond in Ayyapatti sustains paddy crop and hopes

The pond and the paddy field behind it at Ayyapatti. Photo: G.Moorthy   | Photo Credit: G_Moorthy

It will be hard to believe that there could be paddy cultivation in rocky and dry land, if you happen to pass through Ayyapatti. K.Alagu, a farmer from Ayyapatti in Kottampatti block of Madurai district, is reaping the benefits of having a farm pond in his land.

“With inadequate rainfall, we were really struggling to raise a good crop here for the last three years,” Mr Alagu said. While he owns 1.7 acres of land, five other farmers have small holdings of more than fifty cents near his farmland.

“About six months back, I dug a farm pond in my land under the scheme offered by the District Watershed Development Agency (DWDA) to ensure availability of water for my crops,” he said.

Thanks to the copious rains received in the area over the last one month, the farm pond, which is 60x 25 feet in dimension, is now brimming with water and farmers are hoping for good rains in the next two months to keep it recharged.

“Water from the rain-fed farm pond has seeped into the nearby paddy fields where the crop is grown under the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) method. The pond has around 14 lakh litres of water at present which will last for a month,” Mr Alagu said.

The marginal and small farmers, who are cultivating paddy in the land adjoining Mr Alagu’s farmland, also said that water from the farm pond had seeped into their fields and the run off water also helped in recharging a nearby ‘oorani.’

“There are more than 30 such farm ponds in Kottampatti union supported by the DWDA. A farmer has to pay Rs 3,000 and a subsidy of Rs 60,000 is offered for constructing the pond,” said Jaisingh Gnanadurai, Joint Director of Agriculture.

“We are encouraging more number of farmers to invest in farm ponds as they very effectively irrigate dry lands. Many farmers are unaware of the subsidy and we are hoping to rope in more small and marginal farmers to make use of the scheme,” he added.

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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 8:07:51 AM |

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