The single greatest constraint for small farmers to have higher agriculture productivity and diversification is water control. With anincreasingly erratic rainfall, both for supporting during the rainfall gaps in the monsoon crop, and for water availability in winter and summer, is critical as it defines the difference between viable and difficult farming. Most rain-fed large farmers are much worse off than smaller, but irrigated farmers.
AKRSP(I) supports farmers for greater water control- not only through supply side solutions but also by managing demand through promoting micro-irrigation schemes and agriculture interventions like SRI and conservation agriculture, which reduce water demand.
AKRSP(I)'s interventions can be categorised broadly into:
- Recharging the groundwater, iIndirectly supporting irrigation. Interventions under this category are percolation tanks, checkdams, watershed work etc.
- Provide direct irrigation from surface water sources (canals, dams, rivers) and ground water (groupwells, borewellsetc). Interventions include participatory canal management, checkdams(both new and repair, boribandhs, mini-liftirrigations schemes, group-wells, farm ponds etc.)
- Improved energy sources used for lifting water: with solar fast replacingthe traditional electric/diesel pump.
- AKRSP(I)'s irrigation related works have benefitted over 70000 farmers
- More than 3000 medium and small water harvesting structures have been constructed
- The Meghal River in coastal Gujarat which had dried up has been rejuvenated with intensive efforts lasting over one decade
- Solar based irrigation is expanding fast and we have installed over 250 such schemes in last couple of years.