Representative image(HT File Photo)
Representative image(HT File Photo)

How farmers in 3 Marathwada villages created an oasis in the suicide-prone region

Dubbed the Kadwanchi model, the watershed project has given farmers year-round access to water.
By Indo Asian News Service | Indo Asian News Service, Jalna
PUBLISHED ON JUN 23, 2017 02:48 PM IST

When massive crop failure and farmers’ suicide afflicted the Marathwada region in Maharashtra during the 2012-16 drought, farmers in three villages of Jalna district were not much concerned about the lack of rainfall.

A watershed project had obviated their need to look at the heavens every season. Enough water was available in the 1,888 hectares area comprising the three villages — Kadwanchi, Nandapur and Waghrul — since late 1990s.

The project has become famous as the Kadwanchi model since it helps grow grapes, a water-intensive crop.

“Hardly anybody knew of grapes 20 years ago. Now, 95% of farmers in the area cultivate grapes. There used be drought in our villages. After the project was implemented, we never faced water scarcity. Farmers here are lakhpatis now,” Chandrakant Kshirsagar, farmer and sarpanch of Kadwanchi village, told IANS during a visit to the village.

The 45-year-old farmer says he has been making handsome profit every year by cultivating grapes on his 15-acre semi-arid land, irrespective of rainfall, which was up to 50% less than the normal during the drought years. The farm produce has sustained 355 families in the three villages.

The project involved building continuous contour and absorption trenches in the hills and bunding (or earthen embankments) on farm boundaries to recharge ground water and stop soil erosion. Also, check dams were constructed at several spots to store large volumes of water. Later, several small ponds in farms were constructed through a separate government scheme, which boosted the water management programme.

“Earlier, we could not make effective use of monsoon water since most of it would run off. In addition, it would cause soil erosion, thus reducing nutrition content from soil. If soil is conserved, water will be conserved automatically. Under the watershed project, we took several measures to arrest soil erosion and water to recharge underground water-table,” said social activist Vijay Borade, who conceptualised the project.

The project was implemented in the three villages by Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) under the Indo-German Watershed Project from 1996 to 2002.

Borade, a recipient of Maharashtra’s Krishi Bhushan award, said their measures paid off. “None of the farmers in this area has complained of water scarcity, even during summers. They are cultivating water-intensive crops and getting better remuneration,” he added.

According to Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture (CRIDA) — a National Research Institute under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research — cultivation of grape increased exponentially after the project was completed.

Pandit Wasre, Agriculture Engineer at the Jalna KVK, who was also part of the watershed project, said the region was vulnerable to drought but the farmers now have year-round access to water, allowing them to cultivate their land twice in a year.

“It has been just 97mm of rainfall in eight days so far and all check dams are full. Also, water can be seen in farms due to bunding. The volume of partial failure of crops has come down significantly due to the project,” Wasre said.

He said adoption of the cost-effective Kadwanchi model can make the farmers in the Marathwada region self-sufficient in water.

Bhagwan Kshirsagar, a grape grower from the area, says he is planing to cultivate export quality grape variety, which would help him fetch more money. “Initial investment is a little more. But we are quite confident of returns due to water availability,” Kshirsagar said.

While the Marathwada region has been in limelight for farmers’ suicide in the past few years — with 900 farmers killing themselves in 2016 — Kshirsagar said farmers from the watershed area never faced financial distress.

According to the KVK data, agriculture income from this watershed area was Rs 27 crore in 2012-13 when rainfall was just 29 per cent of the annual average. In 2015-16, the income rose to Rs 42 crore when rainfall was 60 per cent. Before the watershed project, the average yearly income in the villages was Rs 77 lakh.

Local farmers said the annual yield of grapes ranges between 12 and 15 tonnes per acre every year, while some managed to get up to 20 tonnes. They also grow cotton, pigeon pea, green gram, sorghum and corn.

Now, villagers in the area are planning to cultivate guava, as the government has shown interest in fruit juice production, Borade said.

He said the Kadwanchi model is being adopted in nearby areas. “The model cannot be exactly same owing to different land use and climatic conditions, but people can take inspiration from this model and develop their own,” Borade added.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Anurag Thakur said the government welcomes innovation and new technology, but with caution, so that citizens get due protection and national security is ensured.(ANI)
Anurag Thakur said the government welcomes innovation and new technology, but with caution, so that citizens get due protection and national security is ensured.(ANI)

Issue of national security key as govt decides on

By Rajeev Jayaswal, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:20 PM IST
  • Cryptocurrency is, however, not legally banned and the government is in the process of enacting a law on this matter.
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits a stall at an exhibition during the Combined Commanders Conference in Kevadia on Saturday. (ANI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visits a stall at an exhibition during the Combined Commanders Conference in Kevadia on Saturday. (ANI)

Need to develop military into ‘future force’: PM Modi at top commanders’ meet

UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:17 PM IST
  • The PM asked the three services to rid themselves of legacy systems and practices that are no longer relevant.
Close
The desk would provide support to file cases in offences related to violence or discrimination.(PTI File Photo )
The desk would provide support to file cases in offences related to violence or discrimination.(PTI File Photo )

Transgender help desk set up at police station in Hyderabad

PTI, Hyderabad
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:09 PM IST
Noting that the idea of the help desk came from the community itself during a meeting 10 days back, police said the entire credit for the initiative must go to the community.
Close
On the basis of the young man's interrogation, the police also arrested his accomplice Vishnu Bishnoi (23) and recovered the illegal pistol from his possession. (GETTY IMAGES) (Image used for representation).
On the basis of the young man's interrogation, the police also arrested his accomplice Vishnu Bishnoi (23) and recovered the illegal pistol from his possession. (GETTY IMAGES) (Image used for representation).

In Rajasthan’s Jodhpur district, 2 arrested for brandishing gun at wedding

PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 11:07 PM IST
  • According to the police, some young men were dancing at the DJ night in a wedding ceremony, during which one of the accused pointed the pistol at the forehead of another youth.
Close
Farmers sitting near their tractor as they take part in a road blockade to mark the 100th day of the protest against the new farm laws on a highway near Kundli Border on Saturday. (ANI Photo)
Farmers sitting near their tractor as they take part in a road blockade to mark the 100th day of the protest against the new farm laws on a highway near Kundli Border on Saturday. (ANI Photo)

As farmers protest completes 100 days, Cong says ‘100 days of BJP's arrogance’

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 10:45 PM IST
Farmer leaders have made it clear that they would not settle for anything less than a repeal of the new agriculture laws.
Close
Entry into the courtroom for the physical hearing will require lawyers to make “special hearing passes” to be issued by the SC Registry. (HT PHOTO).
Entry into the courtroom for the physical hearing will require lawyers to make “special hearing passes” to be issued by the SC Registry. (HT PHOTO).

Supreme Court to begin limited physical hearing on trial basis from March 15

By Abraham Thomas
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 10:25 PM IST
  • In January this year, Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde ruled out any reopening of courts for the present.
Close
The Indo-Nepal border(ANI File Photo)
The Indo-Nepal border(ANI File Photo)

Nepal Police hand over body of Indian man killed in firing in Pilibhit

PTI
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 10:25 PM IST
Though authorities had initially said Nepalese Police had fired at three people, police said late Friday that the incident in a market in Nepal's Kanchanpur district involved four men.
Close
DMK commenced the interviews for party ticket aspirants on March 2 and completed it on Saturday.(ANI)
DMK commenced the interviews for party ticket aspirants on March 2 and completed it on Saturday.(ANI)

AIADMK, DMK yet to close deal with key allies for Tamil Nadu assembly polls

PTI, Chennai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 10:13 PM IST
The DMK has allotted 23 seats to allies. MDMK, Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi and CPI have got six each, the IUML three and Manithaneya Makkal Katchi two.
Close
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Combined Commanders’ Conference in Gujarat's Kevadia on Saturday. (@narendramodi/Twitter Photo )
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Combined Commanders’ Conference in Gujarat's Kevadia on Saturday. (@narendramodi/Twitter Photo )

At top commanders’ meet, PM Modi calls for army to become 'future force'

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 09:45 PM IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed the need to optimise manpower planning in both military and civilian parts of the national security architecture, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Close
The Union health ministry noted that Punjab along with four other states accounted for 82 per cent of the new Covid-19 cases reported in India.(HT Photo)
The Union health ministry noted that Punjab along with four other states accounted for 82 per cent of the new Covid-19 cases reported in India.(HT Photo)

Punjab reports over 1,000 daily new Covid-19 cases for second time in March

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Srivatsan K C, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 09:38 PM IST
The bulletin showed that the active caseload too witnessed a spike on Saturday with 7,164 patients—up from 6,661 reported on Friday.
Close
The case was first handled by Assam Police and in 2019 the investigation was taken over by NIA. (HT PHOTO)
The case was first handled by Assam Police and in 2019 the investigation was taken over by NIA. (HT PHOTO)

NIA files chargesheet against 3 Bodo militants for killing Assam police officer

PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 09:24 PM IST
  • The chargesheet was filed on Friday before a special NIA court against the accused persons-Bishnu Narzary, Nitul Daimary and Runiluish Daimary under several sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Indian Penal Code and Arms Act.
Close
Earthen lamps lit to celebrate the foundation laying ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, at Moti Nagar in New Delhi in this file picture from 2020. (Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)
Earthen lamps lit to celebrate the foundation laying ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, at Moti Nagar in New Delhi in this file picture from 2020. (Sanchit Khanna/ Hindustan Times)

Over 25,000 million collected for Ram Temple’s construction: VHP

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Shankhyaneel Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 08:56 PM IST
  • Rai said that door-to-door collection of funds for the Ram Temple construction has also been stopped.
Close
A health worker takes swab sample of a resident for Covid-19 testing in a housing society, amid a surge in coronavirus cases, at Nehru Nagar in Mumbai.(PTI)
A health worker takes swab sample of a resident for Covid-19 testing in a housing society, amid a surge in coronavirus cases, at Nehru Nagar in Mumbai.(PTI)

Amid surge in Covid-19 cases, these states have imposed fresh restrictions

By hindustantimes.com | Edited by Mallika Soni
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 08:55 PM IST
  • The central government has also rushed high-level multi-disciplinary public health teams to Maharashtra and Punjab in view of the increase in the number of daily new Covid-19 cases being reported by these states.
Close
The Centre’s counsel said during the hearing that the government had not ordered for the closure of roads under its guidelines and roads would have to be kept open.(File Photo)
The Centre’s counsel said during the hearing that the government had not ordered for the closure of roads under its guidelines and roads would have to be kept open.(File Photo)

‘Will modify Covid travel restrictions with Kerala’: Karnataka govt to HC

By hindustantimes.com | Written by Harshit Sabarwal, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 09:03 PM IST
Karnataka had sealed several roads and national highways with Kerala on February 22 after the former had seen the emergence of two Covid-19 clusters in Bengaluru.
Close
Veterans and their dependents eligible for Covid-19 vaccination under the government’s guidelines will be able to get vaccinated at service hospitals starting next week.(Reuters)
Veterans and their dependents eligible for Covid-19 vaccination under the government’s guidelines will be able to get vaccinated at service hospitals starting next week.(Reuters)

News updates from HT: Covid-19 vaccination for Army veterans to begin next week

PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 08:52 PM IST
Here are today’s top news, analysis and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP