Punjab Learns To Conserve Water with Ambuja Cement Foundation's Jal4Kal
With access to free electricity, farmers in Punjab have never really faced a water problem and is leading the agricultural sector of the nation. 73% of the cultivated land is, in fact, dependent on tube wells for irrigation. Rampant exploitation of groundwater resources has, however, started straining the water level and its quality. Convincing farmers to move to a more efficient means of irrigation needs behavioural change, a challenge that Ambuja Cement Foundation (ACF) has accepted.
ACF has been persistent in its behaviour change communication, convincing the farmers of the effectiveness and economic viability of methods such as ridge and furrow irrigation and drip irrigation. Moreover, local youth are being trained to provide maintenance for the irrigation systems, creating means of livelihood.
In its pilot stage, the initiative is an important step towards water conservation. Till date, 1390 farmers have shifted to the ridge and furrow means of irrigation, a method that saves water and increases its efficient utilisation. The outcomes: Water saved is in range of 25% - 30% and yield has been higher by 10-15%.
Additionally, drip irrigation is today being used by 15 farmers as the means of irrigation in 32.25 acres. These farmers have already seen a 5% decrease in their cost of cultivation and an additional 195 kg increase in production. For the farmer, the economic proposition is clear. Saving water means the ability to earn more. For ACF, it is about ensuring sustainable water future for rural India.
ACF’s water programme is definitely a win-win for everyone!
Established in 1993, Ambuja Cement Foundation is a grassroots pan-India implementing organisation that harnesses the power of partnerships –between communities, Government and other like-minded corporates and NGOs – to help solve pressing community problems and to foster prosperity.
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