From paucity to a situation of plenty, that is exactly what Kadwanchi, a village in drought hit Marathwada’s Jalna district, with the help of an NGO, was able to do. The village changed its fate to become one of the most productive one in the region. So even as agricultural output of other villages was hard hit by four years of drought, Kadwanchi’s agricultural output refused to slow down. And how did this magic happen? The credit goes to a 21 year old initiative by the Krishi Vigyan Kendra of Jalna which itself was established by Marathwada Sheti Sahaya Mandal and through it was implemented a watershed project in the village, reported Indian Express
Kadwanchi has some 400 farmers and their agricultural output grew from Rs 27 crore in 2012-13 to Rs 42 crore in 2015-16. According to the report, their per capita income increased from Rs 3,264 in 1999 to Rs 1.27 lakh in 2016. The village was able to manage such magical figures through simple agricultural techniques including soil conservation, building earthen embankments across rainwater streams for harvesting water and making water absorption trenches. The village built structures including gully plugs, gabions to keep their wells from drying.
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The villagers have maintained contact with prof Pandit Warse of the Jalna KVK even after 15 years after the project was completed, said Warse. According to the professor, the 455 families in the village have about 600 wells, 9 check dams and about 25km of stream, he said were widened. About 40 more farm ponds would be added to the already existing 347 ponds this year.
Out of everything in this village, what truly tells the success story is the 10,000 acre grape vineyard in the village. Grapes require nothing less than 10 lakh litres of water in the season making it difficult even for areas with average to good season of monsoon to grow grapes – and all this with a project that cost a mere Rs 1.2 crore.