Soil erosionl



 Rainwater harvesting and efficient use to enhance resilience of farms in Gujarat

In Bhalot village of Kutch, renovation of 10 old check dams and 4 ponds benefitted 97 farmers, which covered an area of 153 ha. Water level in open wells incresed significantly by 10 to 15 ft after renovation. Supplemental irrigation through drip became possible due to recharge of open wells and the yield of Bt. Cotton increased by 3.0q/ha and higher income of Rs. 12000/ha was realized.

In Magharvada village in Rajkot, 5 farm ponds of (30×30×7 ft) were constructed each having a capacity to store 1,80,000 liters of water and lined with 425 gsm plastic to prevent percolation of water. This harvested water enabled farmers’ to protect their crop during mid season drought of about 25 days after first rain. The harvested rainwater was used for providing life saving irrigation to paddy and vegetable crops like bittergourd and bottlegourd. This enhanced the crop yield by 10-12 per cent. Growing of short duration crops of coriander and fenugreek gave an additional return of Rs. 8,000 to 10,000/ha which was not possible earlier.

To analyze drivers of agricultural vulnerability, a methodology was developed to estimate length-of-crop-growing-period (LGP) using vegetation index. Variations in LGP derived from AVHRR and MODIS datasets were compared with normal LGP estimated through water-balance model. Typology of agricultural vulnerability was drawn based on variations in LGP compared to normal. LGP trends in districts with > 50% area under agriculture were analyzed. It was seen that in 80 districts there was a decrease in LGP of which 6 were located in arid region, 70 in semi-arid and 4 in sub-humid region. Thirty-one districts were experiencing an increase in LGP - 23 in arid and 8 in semi-arid tracts where pearl millet, pulses and groundnut are grown. Eleven districts did not experience any change in LGP - 1 in arid, 2 in semi-arid and 8 in sub-humid regions in India.


 Use of recharged water for critical irrigation from wells in Kutch, Gujarat



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