कृषि प्रौद्योगिकी अनुप्रयोग अनुसंधान संस्थान
Agricultural Technology
Application Research Institute

(ISO 9001:2015)

Individual farm ponds for improving livelihoods of small farmers.

Climate vulnerability: Drought

Existing practice

Across the tropics, smallholder farmers face numerous risks in agricultural production. Rainfall is erratic and inadequate, and the crops are mostly dependent on monsoon. Climatic variability is expected to disproportionately affect smallholder farmers and make their livelihoods even more precarious. Small scale water harvesting structures at individual farm level enable reuse of harvested water during critical periods of growth stage or for providing pre-sowing irrigation to rabi crop. Various models of small scale water harvesting systems have been promoted by governmental and nongovernmental organizations involving different farm pond sizes, lining material, reuse of harvested water for different crops at critical crop growth stages.

Resilient practice/ technology

One way to cope with climate vulnerability is to collect rainwater in harvesting structures to increase the irrigated areas as well as crop productivity. Farm ponds have been considered as one of the key interventions in NICRA villages and have been widely adopted in the villages. Various cropping system modules were worked out by using harvested water. Majority of farmers opted to cultivate vegetables with harvested water in a ratio of 1:10 (command to catchment area) with sustained profits.

Major observations :

  1. Increased irrigation area in the villages
  2. Increase in crop productivity
  3. Farmers with farm pond took up at least two assured crops in a year
  4. Shift to vegetable cultivation is one strong indicator
  5. Increase in ground water level

Impact of individual farm ponds

Village KVK/District Technology Demonstrated Crop Area(ha) Net Return(Rs) Benfit Cost Ratio
Nacharam Khammam Drip Chilli 2 9000 2.0
Vadavathur Namakkal Sprinkler Onion 35 215565 3.2

In Chamaluru village of Anantapur district (Andhra Pradesh.) new farm ponds were constructed in farmer's fields to recharge bore wells. The size of the farm ponds was 22 x 22 x 1.5 m each having water storage capacity of 726 m3.

The farm pond of Eshwar Reddy got filled twice with runoff water with the receipt of 174 mm of rainfall in September 2013. Five bore wells located in the premises of farm pond were recharged. One defunct bore well started functioning and irrigated area increased by 2 ha.

Another farmer (Ravi ) recharged 2 bore wells located around his farm pond. The depth of the water table on 11th September in functioning well was 7.75 m as against 28.5 m on 11th April 2014.

Another farm pond was dug in Sri Gopal Reddy's field with a storage capacity of 750 m3. About 5-6 bore wells located in the vicinity of farm pond were recharged. The depth of water table in bore wells increased by 9 feet.

Farm Pond