Group Lift irrigation & Fodder Development

In Nana Sebaliya village of Khedbramha block of Sabarkantha district, the group was formed by interested members who saw the potential to lift water from a well in the pond. Each member contributes Rs.50 per month as saving. Couple of years 

back, they were dependent on rainfed agriculture and lead life in uncertainties. Few managed to buy water from other farmers who have bore wells at Rs.3000/ crop. Rest migrated to cities for wage labour. 

Though water was available close by to their fields, there were not able to access for cultivation. One day, women’s group applied for permission to lift water from the well. They approached VIKSAT to support them in technical and financial aspects. They contributed labour for laying pipes and installing pump etc. A Lift Irrigation (LI) system was set up on a well in the village pond with the support of VIKSAT. Now water is available throughout the year.

LI is working successfully for past 2 years. Now they take winter and summer crops as well. One of the women members said, ‘before LI we used to get only 25% income from farming when we compare it to what we earn now. In summer also we cultivate vegetables and retail them for good price. We earn Rs.200 to 300 per day through out summer. Earlier we used to migrate for wage labour’.

With continuous water supply 2 members started cultivating COFS 29 Tamilnadu variety fodder grass that grows for 2 years. This fodder believed to improve milk yield in milch animals. About 22 farmers in the village adopted fodder cultivation and women from 3 surrounding villages came forward to take up the activity. 

Women members in the group said, ‘earlier we used to provide dry grass to animals as green fodder was not available. Every year we used to buy Rs.15-20,000 worth fodder grass. Now we save this amount with home grown fodder grass. Milk yields also improved. Now we earn Rs. 7 to 8, 000 per month from sale of milk. 

Irrigation activity is manged by all 12 women members of the group. About 1800mts of pipe network supports 6 acres of cultivable land. They cultivate groundnut, cotton, wheat, and fodder with the help of LI. Each one have ½ acre land in command area. Women said, ‘now we don’t migrate for labour in summers and invest the time in dairy farming and high value crops. we manage entire water supply and maintenance, electricity etc’. 

They said, ‘Lift irrigation is blessing for us. There are more farmers who need such facility. Women there still struggle for water and spending their lives as agriculture labourers. They can be empowered with group lift irrigation. If someone can help us, our entire village can flourish’.