Deshpande Foundation India Team
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Farm Pond

Small and marginal farmers account for 86.2% of all farmers (126 million farmers) in India (10th agriculture census 2015-16), but own average land of just 0.6 hectares. Moreover, about 60% of total net sown area comes under rainfed lands thus having water poverty. India ranks first in rain-fed agriculture, both in area and value of produce. Over the years, farmers in rain-fed areas have been facing several adversities such as climate variability, crop failure, non-remunerative prices, etc.

To tackle the above problems Deshpande Foundation started Farm Pond program in 2014 from Alagwadi village, Navalgunda taluka, Dharwad. This program has now become a demand driven program under which different sizes of farm ponds are constructed on farmers demand and based on their needs.

From 2014 till date 4500 farm ponds constructed and more than 20,000 lives impacted by irrigating more than 15750 acres. Currently we are working mainly in 4 districts of Karnataka (Dharwad, Gadag, Haveri and Belgaum) and 2 districts of Telangana (Siddipet, Nalgonda). Theses region has suffered continuous drought for the last few years, resulting in severe rural distress.

Initiatives like the Farm Pond program has shifted the focus from traditional cultivation to cash crops and horticulture, as water harvesting structure provide farmers more choices if water is available.

Farmers with rain-fed lands are vulnerable and can cultivate only 1 crop in a year, provided the rainfall is timely and adequate. With prevailing drought, yields were low. However with proper storage of rainwater, farmers could irrigate their fields twice, thus significantly improving agricultural productivity and hence rural income. Farmers are not only getting 30-50% higher yield from the major crops but are also growing cash crops such as garlic, papaya, chilly and also short duration vegetables, improving food security and nutrition.

In coming years Deshpande Foundation looking forward to scale up farm pond initiatives by reaching 1 lakh farmers.

Deshpande Foundation Construction Methodologies of Farm Pond

Methodology of constructing farm ponds

Benefits of farm pond:

  • Helps farmers by storing rain water to provide adequate, reliable, long-term water supply, and hence ending vulnerability and uncertainty of rain-fed farmers
  • It is a one-time investment which provides localized water and food security for many years by enhancing the crop productivity and climate resilience
  • Water harvesting allows timely sowing and irrigation of multiple crops, helping farmers to maximize their yield and correspondingly increase his/her income by 2 to 3 times minimum and even in many cases upto 5 times
  • Generates employment opportunities for on-farm labour during all seasons, preventing migration and making the owner of the farm-pond a rural job-creator
  • Helps in conserving the natural resources like soil and nutrients apart from water
  • Helps in preserving soil erosion

Impact Assessment Phase 1 and Geotagging of Farm Ponds

Impact assessment phase 1 Read more
Farm pond cluster View farm ponds


Construction of Farm Pond

Deshpande Foundation Farm Pond Benefits
Deshpande Foundation Farm Pond Benefits

Farm Ponds

Deshpande Foundation Farm Pond Benefits
Deshpande Foundation Farm Pond Benefits
Deshpande Foundation Farm Pond Benefits
Deshpande Foundation Farm Pond Benefits