The government of Odisha has introduced several interventions for improving the water availability for the farmers. Farm Pond Convergence is a model project that is leading to an increase in agricultural production, increasing farmers’ income. Water bodies are created under MGNREGS. Integrated Watershed Management Programme is deploying different vegetative and engineering water harvesting structures. New crops and varieties have also been introduced and executed in 62 villages of the Begunipada block. There are improvements in the water table, soil moisture, and drinking water on the one hand and a reduction in migration on the other.
L to R: Sameer Kochhar, Chairman, SKOCH Group; Mr Bijaya Kumar Mishra, Engineer-in-Charge, Water Resources Department, Government of Odisha
Kanupur Irrigation Project at Keonjhar is addressing the problem of resettlement and rehabilitation of people affected by major irrigation projects. Around 4,000 people affected by the project have been settled without leading to a single civil suit. Now, farmers have better irrigation facilities in the village; it covers around 30,000 ha of land.
Climate Change Adaptation Project at Naupada is converting a place affected by water scarcity into a green pasture in eight villages. The Kharkharanala – once abandoned as a dry stream, was brought back to life by constructing a series of check dams assisted through the National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC) Project. 237 ha of the area is irrigated in six clusters from 3 check dams constructed under NAFCC. With the storage of water in the check dam, farmers are doing fish cultivation in nearby ponds. The farmers of 15 tanks have generated an income of Rs 28 lakhs from fish cultivation over the last five quarters by investing 4.65 lakhs.
By adopting a cluster approach in a farm pond, the government has found a new way the development of an integrated farming system. Agroforestry bund plantation has brought sustainability to the project in which 100 fruit plants are planted on the bunds.
e-JalaAbantan is about transformation in the water allocation process. The timely allocation of water to commercial and other establishments is now possible. There is a significant reduction in water allocation system turnaround time and there is greater transparency, enhancing the faith of stakeholders.
Integrated Development of Rainfed Areas through Micro Irrigation in Nabarangpur has decreased the prevalence of soil erosion and groundwater depletion. 10 check dams were constructed providing farmers with irrigation facilities. Protective irrigation was implemented for major crops over 130 ha for Kharif and 29 ha for Rabi. The availability of water has increased by 25 per cent.
Koraput has also taken Soil and Water Conservation measures, which have resulted in 190 acres of irrigation potential; improvement in groundwater table; availability of water for irrigation around the year; and, an increase in employment opportunities. Migration has reduced and cropping intensity has increased by 200 per cent.