FARM POND ENHANCING THE LIVELIHOOD
FARM POND ENHANCING THE LIVELIHOOD….
Enhancing productivity from the available piece of land has been a continuous effort under Watershed development programme. The synergistic integration and optimal utilization of resources is vital in fulfilling the demand of irrigation in drought prone areas. Storage of water in these areas is an integral part of any rain water harvesting system and it is necessary to harvest water from any source in ponds and reservoirs for various domestic and agricultural purposes over a period of time.
The village, Kasapa is situated in Fatepur G.P. under Maa Sholabhauni Nala MWS & is about 8 Kms away from Oupada block headquarters in Balasore district. The villagers depend largely on agriculture for their sustenance. Farmers generally used to follow traditional practices of cultivating a single crop i.e., paddy in rain fed condition. The rest of the year their land was remaining dry and unproductive. Their efforts in cultivation had often been thwarted by uncertainties of climatic conditions and erratic rain fall. Unequal distribution of rain fall and rain fed conditions of farming were major hindrance in their efforts to secure productivity of land. Besides, frequent dry spells resulted in crop loss leading to drastic down fall in economic condition of the farmers.
Bijay kumar Nayak, a young farmer of this village could not carry out cultivation in his 1.0 acre of land due to scarcity of water. It was difficult to manage his family adopting farming as livelihood option. Being motivated by field functionaries of the Watershed project during the year 2014-15, he became interested to take up Integrated farming system by excavating a farm pond in his land. After approval of his application by the Watershed Committee one Farm pond was excavated with an estimated cost of Rs102000/- He contributed an amount of Rs 10200/- towards WDF.
Soon after the farm pond was dug, there were good rains leading to complete filling. The rainwater filled to the brim of the pond got Sri Nayak enthused. He started cultivation of 0.5 Ac of paddy and rest area with different vegetables like ladies finger, brinjal, tomato etc. He also planted banana and papaya on the bunds along with pisciculture in the pond. His efforts paid-off and he could get good yield from paddy for his own consumption for the entire year. Besides he sold different vegetables in the local market on regular basis and got remunerative price. After 10 months he got additional income of Rs 20000/- from banana, papaya and pisciculture. Within a year he could earns Rs. 70,000/- with an investment of Rs 30000/-
The excavation of farm pond has helped Sri Nayak in getting regular income besides creating productive engagements for his family members. They now lead a life of dignity and comfort .Vegetable growing has provided nutritional supplement to his family as a result of which, their health condition has improved.
Now he is considered as a successful farmer in the area and many farmers from the neighbouring villages are coming to see his farm module. This hasraised
enthusiasm of the farmers of this area and the generally reluctant farmers have come forward to get farm ponds dug on their lands through watershed project. This successful case has demonstrated the value and usefulness of Farm Pond technology for sustainability of rainfed farming systems.