When agriculture is already shrinking and became loss-making in many states of India, our rural community needs support for not only irrigation but a compact model of farming which can enable them to draw variety of benefits through management of local resources collectively in terms of environment preservation, animal husbandry, new products, processing and market linkage.
Watershed Management Program proposes checking the runoff water, protecting soil, increasing cultivatable land & net sown area, increasing income of poor and organising villages through Self Help Groups.
The program is for 40 villages in Koderma and 63 in Dumka districts with support of JSWM-SLNA. Likewise NABARD has supported NBJK to implement Cholkho Watershed project in 6 villages of Markachcho block under Koderma district.
Models have been established on renovation of existing water harvesting facilities and integrating various components of farming together towards sustainability. It has a comprehensive plan to conserve water as a life line, increase income of poorest and the model considers women as a central force to run the program.
What is the need?
Jharkhand state has a total area of 79.70 lakh hectares of land, of which 38 lakh hectares are cultivatable land. The net sown area of the state is 18 lakh hectares (only 25% of the total area), while the net irrigated area is 1.57 lakh hectares (only 8% of the net sown area).
Jharkhand receives about 1300MM of rainfall each year much greater than average annual rainfall of 650MM in Punjab. Even though, over half of districts of Jharkhand were declared a drought 5 times in last 7 years. Some of the reasons being: un-timely rainfall, runoff of rain waters and plateau areas.
Also, there are many new improved was of cultivation where input is very less and yield is high. But most of the farmers are still practicing traditional ways of agriculture because they are not aware of it.
This has resulted reduce in the farming practices of farmers. Many farmers are leaving their fields and migrating to towns in search of jobs, where they are in high risk of exploitation.
Our Approach and Achievements
NBJK has an expertise of 43 years in the field of agriculture and watershed and till date it has provided benefit to over 1 million farmers.
To start watershed management programme, first Entry Point Activities (EPAs) are done. NBJK believes in total participation of the community and thus villagers are involved during the selection, designing and implementation of the activities. After EPAs, a full programme is developed with the help of community.
The programme does not only concentrate on watershed management. Apart from construction of Check Dams, Farm Ponds, Land Bunding, and other watershed management activities, the programme also focuses on capacity building of farmers, improving farming productivity, increasing income of poorest of the poor and organising women through Self Help Groups.
NBJK with the kind support of Jharkhand State Watershed Mission and NABARD was able to cover 15000 hectares of land. Water was made available for additional 1000 hectares of land. 30 Farm Ponds, 30 Wells, 5 Check Dams, 100 Hectare land bunding and 200 hectare of tree plantation was done, providing benefit to 5000 farmers. Last year in Dumka, it could provide 4 water structures for 57 peasants in 5 villages, bunding of 4 hec. land for 2 villages and 300′ lift irrigation facility. Training on SRI cultivation (290 farmers), tailoring (120 adolescent girls) and SHG formation (300 women) was held in Koderma district with renovation (29 wells, 2 ponds), field bunding (4800 mts.), irrigation pipe (20 SHG members) and mango plants with fencing (1441 farmers). Also SRI farming and fishery were popularized in 3 villages in the district.
Still much to do…