Rotary-led Water Conservation Programme Awarded US$2 Million To Help Indian Farmers

Rotary-led Water Conservation Programme Awarded US$2 Million To Help Indian Farmers

New Delhi, May 30 (TNA) A Rotary club-led initiative is helping farmers improve their harvests, increase yields, and raise their incomes by improving water resource management and farming practices in India. This would lead to better living conditions for their families and also create more resilient communities.

With limited irrigation facilities in India, many farmers are dependent on rainfall, leaving them vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Extreme weather events like droughts, floods, and storms affect soil fertility, crop yields and livestock production – all of which have led to reduced productivity and income for farmers.

‘Partners for Water Access and Better Harvests in India’ is Rotary’s fourth Programmes of Scale recipient – an annual competitive grant process that awards US$2 million to an evidence-based programme that aligns with one of Rotary’s causes and has the capability for scaling up to help more people. These programmes are sponsored by Rotary members in collaboration with local communities and partner organizations.

Rotary members, experts and technical advisors will collaborate with local and national governments to strengthen farmers’ capacity at the community level in four states – Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra.

According to the Rotary officials, this comprehensive programme will increase groundwater tables by 10-15 percent each year, extend the area of cultivation by 20-30 percent by increasing the availability of water, improve the incomes of approximately 60,000 farmers by an estimated 25-30 percent, and introduce drip irrigation to reduce soil erosion on 4,113 hectares (more than 10,000 acres) of land by planting native species and fruit trees.

“In a country where only 50 percent of the arable land is irrigated, I have seen the plight of farmers who pray fervently to the rain gods so that they may have enough bountiful harvest and enough income to survive till the next crop. I have seen the distress in families of marginalized farmers in years of failed monsoons. Making more water available is the panacea for the more than half of the population that subsists on agriculture”, said Sudhanshu Pachisia, Club President of the programme sponsor Rotary Club of Delhi Premier.

Throughout India, Rotary clubs have supported the construction of rainwater harvesting structures and improved irrigation, which allow farmers to harvest crops more than once per year and increase yields.

The News Agency