Visakhapatnam

Desilting of wells gives fresh lease of life for vegetable farming in Mutcherla

Left: De-silting work going on at a well at Mucherla in Anandapuram mandal of Visakhapanam district. Above: A farmer displaying her produce after completion of the desilting of the wells

Left: De-silting work going on at a well at Mucherla in Anandapuram mandal of Visakhapanam district. Above: A farmer displaying her produce after completion of the desilting of the wells  

Income of ryots is expected to increase by a minimum of ₹5,000

Agricultural wells are a crucial source of water for farmers, particularly in rain-fed areas. Sometimes, due to lack of de-silting, the wells do not yield enough water, which poses a major setback to farmers.

With the monsoon failing to meet expectations last year and wells not in a position to support them, some farmers in Mutcherla and Tarluwada villages in Anandapuram mandal did not go in for a second crop last year. Some farmers who had taken up a second crop suffered losses owing to lack of water during the harvesting period. Ragi and vegetables are mostly grown in the area.

NGO Watershed Support Services and Activities Network’s (WASSAN) rural development intervention in the villages aimed at desilting 45 wells. Desilting of the wells and constructing parapet walls was taken up in the summer.

“A total of 42 wells were desilted spending ₹2,250 on each one of them. While the cost of hiring the crane was borne by us, farmers contributed with manual work,” said Programme Manager of WASSAN M. Bhaktar Vali. Desilting was done on an average for four feet.

Besides, maintenance work on 10 wells in Jagannadhapuram is ongoing, officials said.

The activity under water conservation and utilisation and ecologically sensitive agricultural practices by growing organic vegetables is funded by HSBC, Visakhapatnam. It is a part of work in six villages with five objectives with a total funding of ₹2.17 crore.

For 11 of the wells, parapet walls were also constructed spending ₹20,000 on each of them with the NGO supporting with masonry and material cost and farmers doing the rest of the work.

For the rest of the wells too, construction will be taken up.

Later, repairs to tanks and construction of checkdams will also be taken up to improve yields in the wells, says Mr. Vali.

Depending upon rainfall, water in the well usually lasts up to March and in a lean season may dry up by January, says farmer Nayanappa, 55, of Mutecherla.

For the first time in recent years the well was desilted, said Nayanappa, who cultivates vegetables in 15 cents. He is hopeful that water will be sufficient up to May this year. The rise in income will depend upon the availability and also on the others drawing water from the well.

Under the 42 wells, 146 farmers are cultivating 76 acres in the two villages. Based on farmers’ experience, it is estimated that a minimum increase of ₹5,000 in each farmer’s income is likely.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 4:46:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/desilting-of-wells-gives-fresh-lease-of-life-for-vegetable-farming-in-mutcherla/article26164937.ece

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