Watershed related projects undertaken under MGNREGA seem to have immensely benefitted the farmers. Many farmers testified that some assets like farm ponds, irrigation tanks etc. have helped to increase the ground water level in agriculture lands and have served as effective water scarcity solutions. We came across many farmers who reaffirmed that they have started engaging in agriculture for longer periods after the completion of these projects.
In Batkidoh GP, Ghora Dongri block, Betul a public pond renovated and de-silted under MGNREGA have positively impacted agriculture. The pond now helps in irrigation of approximately 50 hectares of agriculture land in Batkidoh and Vikrampur GPs. We met some farmers here who confirmed that their agriculture has improved tremendously after the renovation of the pond
Ankul, a farmer from batkidoh was able to cultivate his land only four months a year due to water scarcity. Rest of the year, he used to migrate to Bhopal in search of work. However after the renovation of the public pond under mgnrega, he is able to undertake agriculture for eight months a year. ``Renovation of pond has stabilised my income from agriculture. Now I cultivate two crops a year’’
Guruputh and Sreemathi, a farmer couple from the same GP also confirmed that agriculture production in their two acre land has bettered after the renovation of the pond
During the time of our visit in Thirumangalam panchayat in Lalgudy block, Trichy de-silting of a 3.8 km long channel was under progress. According to the officials, with de-silting of this channel , water supply to approximately 60 acres of agriculture land will be enhanced.
Construction of a minor irrigation tank was also under progress in Thatchankuruchi panchayat in the same block. The tank will be connected to agriculture lands through feeder channels and is expected to benefit irrigation in approximately 100 acres of land. The tank is also likely to improve the water table in nearby water sources including wells.
Construction of a Matti Nala Band(MNB) under MGNREGA in drought prone Pandurni GP in Mukhed block, Nanded has enhanced agriculture here. The MNB with a catchment area of 100 acres of land has led to the rise of water table in the surrounding agriculture lands. According to Madhav Narayan a farmer in Pandurni, MNB has benefitted his agriculture immensely. ``My 25 acres of land was uncultivable. Now after the construction of Matti Nala Band, the water table has increased and I am able to cultivate two crops a year. Also my well has been recharged’’ he says