How farmers in 3 Marathwada villages created an oasis in the suicide-prone region

The project has become famous as the Kadwanchi model since it helps grow grapes, a water-intensive crop.
Now, 95% of farmers in the area cultivate grapes.
The 45-year-old farmer says he has been making handsome profit every year by cultivating grapes on his 15-acre semi-arid land, irrespective of rainfall, which was up to 50% less than the normal during the drought years.
Under the watershed project, we took several measures to arrest soil erosion and water to recharge underground water-table,” said social activist Vijay Borade, who conceptualised the project.
The project was implemented in the three villages by Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) under the Indo-German Watershed Project from 1996 to 2002.
Also, water can be seen in farms due to bunding.
The volume of partial failure of crops has come down significantly due to the project,” Wasre said.
He said adoption of the cost-effective Kadwanchi model can make the farmers in the Marathwada region self-sufficient in water.
While the Marathwada region has been in limelight for farmers’ suicide in the past few years — with 900 farmers killing themselves in 2016 — Kshirsagar said farmers from the watershed area never faced financial distress.
Before the watershed project, the average yearly income in the villages was Rs 77 lakh.

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