Land development and water conservation

Anuppur receives around 1400 mm annual rainfall but due to undulating land pattern and unavailability of water harvesting structures, fails to tap such water. It results in mono-cropping pattern in agriculture with low productivity. Moser Baer Trust (MBT) focuses on bring changes in the agriculture practices with an aim to increase in productivity in crops like paddy, wheat, maize and chick-pea. At the same time, MBT also striving to increase the cropping intensity (from mono to two/three crop a year) in its command areas by improving the irrigation facilities through “Integrated Natural Resources Management”. MBT has undertaken the following measures to deal with the situation:

Lift Irrigation

Lift irrigation based around a concept to lift water from a lower point, most commonly a river or stream to a higher point of land. Water is not transported by natural flow instead requires external energy through animal, fuel based or electric power using pumps or other mechanical means. Given in the climatic condition of the command areas, MBT supported the installation of community managed lift irrigation systems in the area covering more than 200 acres of land. The lift irrigation installed in the villages operated through Water User Association. One person is elected by the associationto manage the lift irrigation system and to ensure its maintenance. Water User Association hold a meeting fortnightly to decide when the pump is used and by whom to ensure the benefit of the same to all.

5% model of seepage tank

MBT also promoting 5% seepage tank in the command areas. This is also known as small farm pond. This is done in land terrain where there is slope of 2-3 % and is done in a big patch of area. 8-10 feet deep and 5 % of the total land area is dug into a small pond. Many such ponds are dug in a contiguous patch in an alternately placed fashion down the line of slope such that water flows into these ponds and fills up first then excess water flows away. This allows water to stay and percolate through the land there by increasing the water table and moisture level of the entire area. This also reduces the irrigation demand of crops because it sources water through soil moisture for long time.

Here in Anuppur, it has been seen that there is a long spell of no rain at all for continuously 25-30 days in monsoon when the paddy crop starts initiating panicle and this is time when paddy needs irrigation. But due to no rain this crop impacted adversely. This seepage model will help farming families come out of the dire situation when the family can irrigate the paddy field by sourcing water from the small pond.

In 2016, the intervention is promoted with 11 families as pilot which will have the irrigation potential of 22 acre of land.

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