Farm ponds catching up slowly in Udupi district

A farm pond at Irvathur village in Udupi district.

A farm pond at Irvathur village in Udupi district.  

Although the government has been promoting farm ponds to help farmers irrigate their fields and recharge groundwater, the response in Udupi has been tepid compared to other districts of the State because of small land holdings. Yet farmers are slowly opting for the farm ponds.

Under the Krishi Bhagya Scheme, the minimum size of landed needed to have a farm pond is one acre. Under the scheme, the minimum size of the farm pond should be 7m each in length and width and 3m in depth. The largest size can be 21m x 21m x 3m. Intermediate sizes are 10m x 10m x 3m, 12m x 12m x 3m, 15m x 15m x 3m and 18m x 18m x 3m. The number of farm ponds dug in the district under the scheme in the last three years was 572 in 2017-18 including 150 in Udupi taluk, 191 in Kundapur taluk, and 231 in Karkala taluk; 353 ponds in 2018-19 including 134 in Udupi, 96 in Kundapur and 123 in Karkala taluk. As many as 128 ponds were dug till November this year, including 23 in Udupi, 34 in Kundapur and 71 ponds in Karkala.

Thus, at present, there are a total 1,053 farm ponds in the district. A subsidy ranging from ₹7,332 to ₹72,777 is given by the government to farmers digging farm ponds, depending on the size of the pond. Owing to small land holdings, nearly 75% of fields have farm ponds of 7m x 7m x 3m, while the remaining 25% have ponds ranging from 10m x 10m x 3m to 21m x 21m x 3m.

Satish, Technical Officer, Department of Agriculture, said the intention behind the government promoting the farm pond scheme besides groundwater recharging, rainwater harvesting and water conservation in general, was utilization of rainwater for protective irrigation to crops during critical stages.

Farmers who have dug farm ponds are all praise for the scheme. Sudhakar Nayak dug a farm pond each of 21m x 21m and 7m x 7m on his five acre farm at Japti village in Kundapur taluk two years ago. “These ponds have helped me a lot during the summer,” he said.

Uday Shetty, a farmer, said that the farm pond dug on his four acre field in Hirgana village was helping him in his agricultural operations.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 3:29:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/farm-ponds-catching-up-slowly-in-udupi-district/article30240302.ece

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