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.
Participatory Irrigation Management (PIM)

AKRSP(I) appointed a community organiser in 1989 specifically to motivate and organise farmers for 3 years until the society was registered in 1991. There were developments in other countries where successful implementation of Participatory Irrigation Management had improved the irrigation performance. For example, AKRSP(I) took the initiative to plan exposure trips for the senior level irrigation officials to the Philippines.

Participatory Irrigation Management was initially started in Gujarat during the 1980s on a basis of collaboration between the Irrigation Department and NGOs such as AKRSP(I) and Development Support Centre (DSC). The irrigation project in Pingut (Bharuch district) was the first when irrigation management was transferred to Water User Association (WUA). The Irrigation Department of state decided try PIM in 13 pilotprojects, and the state issued an additional 35 orders to facilitate and create an enabling environment for establishing and implementing WUAs. Based on the experience of these 13 pilot projects, the state finalized the Participatory Irrigation Management Act in 2007.

As a part of PIM, AKRSP(I) has worked in South Gujarat for a 22000 hectare area and 10000 hectare creating a total of 32000 hectares covered under PIM reaching 34000 households and 270 villages.

Our Achievments
  • 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.