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Posts Tagged ‘water logging

Fish if you can’t sow

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We visited RT and Revathi’s farm on July 17th in Aliyur, half way between Thiruvarur and Nagapattinam. While looking for a piece of land that had some problem, and thereby would be cheaper, they found the 13 acre plot with major water logging problems and purchased. Over two seasons they noted the areas that were water logged, tried different types of seeds to identify what grew better where when not being taken care of at all.

After the first rainy season, they identified 7 spots where water accumulated. Using a Tamil Nadu govt. scheme to encourage rain water harvesting and recharging ground water, they had ponds of different sizes dug in these spots. Using the dry land variety of seeds and techniques that require lower water input, they plan to irrigate the fields around each pond through out the growing season. An extensive drip irrigation system covering their entire farm reduces water consumption further.

In the central region of the farm they have dug a few parallel trenches and in using the soil coming out of the trenches, raised the land in between the trenches by more than a foot. Water collects in these trenches and the raised bed has a variety of fruit and other trees planted. In order to reduce evaporation, they are growing climbers all along the trenches designed to provide a green canopy throughout.

The most impressive part of the farm was what was going on in all these water bodies. When they drafted the plans for the farm, they talked to local fishermen and discussed with them the different kinds of fish, their needs, their market demand, etc. After the ponds and trenches started filling up, they introduced a few varieties of fish. In a month or so they saw that the population was large enough to start fishing ! So while preparing their farm for sustainable agriculture, and even before harvesting anything from the farm, they have managed to set up an income stream fishing in rain harvested water!

Written by Dwiji

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008 at 17:14

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