Harvesting rainwater: Insulating fields against drought

This farmer from Bahadurpur Kalan village in Mahoba’s Kulpahar tehsil has not only managed to grow urad (black gram) on his entire 13-acre field during kharif — sowing it in early-July just after the monsoon’s onset and harvesting by September 20 — but even planted chana (chickpea) on seven acres and matar (pea) on the balance six acres in the ongoing rabi season.
The first has to do with the monsoon.
But about 60 per cent of the land is farmed only during rabi.
“I got Rs 57,000 at the start of excavation and another Rs 28,550 after completion of earthwork.
Chandra isn’t the only one.
“This can easily take care of two irrigations, including paleva, for my matar and chana crops,” notes Patel, whose pond covers 0.1 acres and has received Rs 52,500 subsidy on a notified cost of Rs 1,05,000.
Jhansi district, like Mahoba, has recorded a mere 453.5 mm of monsoon precipitation this year, as opposed to its normal quota of 797.2 mm.
Having seen the results from their farm ponds, Patel and Chandra are now seeking more.
Although they cost more (ranging from Rs 1.20 lakh for 2HP and Rs 1.75 lakh for 3HP to Rs 5 lakh for 5HP, compared to Rs 35,000-40,000 for normal 8HP diesel engines), I save on fuel,” he adds.
During 2016-17, the UP government subsidised the construction of 2,000 farm ponds in Bundelkhand.

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